Ground control to major boob

King James Cameron prepares to luxuriate in Russia's Mir space station next summer; Bob Barker swoops in for a Big Brother chicken rescue. Plus: Mariah Carey puts a price on those curves.

By Amy Reiter

Published October 4, 2000 4:45PM (EDT)

James Cameron is about to take that whole "King of the World" thing way too far.

The "Titanic"-egoed director is fixing to blast off into space to hang out on the Mir space station. (Shove over, Mark "Destination Mir" Burnett.)

According to Russia's Interfax News Agency, Cameron has undergone medical testing and has been cleared for the countdown at the end of next summer by doctors at the Russian Institute for Medical and Biological Problems.

He is, a Russian space source says, planning a long mission, although he has not yet inked a final deal with the Russian rocket and space corporation Energiya.

And thus a new Hollywood cocktail-party topic is born: So have you been to space?

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And what about the man's plans for Panama?

"Would you change your policy towards Cuba if you knew 'embargo' spelled backwards was 'O, grab me?'"

-- Aerosmith's Steven Tyler on what he would like to have asked Al Gore in Tuesday's presidential debates.

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Nobody here but us chickens

Agnes the chicken, come on down!

Bob Barker has apparently rushed to the rescue of the five most lovable denizens of the "Big Brother" house, now that everyone else has slunk home.

"The Price Is Right" host accompanied fowl-crying animal rights activist Nancy Burnet to the "Big Brother" set at CBS Studio Center to request the right to repatriate the show's hapless chickens, who laid almost as many eggs as George, into an animal sanctuary. The studio was only too happy to turn over the unfortunate birds.

"The birds will now be able to continue to lead happy and productive lives," Barker told the City News Service.

If only the same could be said of their human housemates.

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Juicy bits

Good news for Ellen DeGeneres' new girlfriend. Ellen's mom approves. The new apple of her daughter's eye is a "very nice girl," Betty DeGeneres told "Entertainment Tonight," although the couple is "taking it very slow." She says Ellen "wasn't looking" to meet someone new and that she stumbled into this new relationship "by accident." Whoops!

How much is Mariah Carey's body worth? $10 million, apparently. The Toronto Sun reports that the singer has just insured her body for that amount. The limb-by-limb breakdown was not released.

Talk about damning with faint praise. Dismissing reports that she and Jack Nicholson are no longer an item, Lara Flynn Boyle doesn't get up much of a gush. "I'm in love with love," she tells Talk magazine. "I mean, you hit a certain point when why would you spend a certain amount of time with somebody if you weren't?" Um, sex? Don't get your hopes up there, either. "He's the chief, right? What else is there to say? It's not bad sleeping with Einstein [as she's dubbed Nicholson]." Bam! Down goes the lady-killing rep.

Who needs to take out an ad? Not Barbra Streisand. After the retiring singer announced during her concerts last week that she was putting her 8,000-square-foot Central Park West triplex on the market, her real estate agent has been flooded with calls from interested buyers. But the agent, Dolly Lenz, tells USA Today her firm is being very "careful with the screening" and is limiting prospects to "very prominent people in business, entertainment, politics." Prominent people who need $9.5 million triplexes are the luckiest people in the world.

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Gotta have more? Read yesterday's Nothing Personal.

Amy Reiter

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