Blaine's stunts give back to science: To the David Blaine haters who think the illusionist's stunts are nothing more than a distracting waste of time, this article in the New England Journal of Medicine might be of interest. Dated November 2005, a year after he completed his 44-day fast in a Plexiglas box suspended above London, the piece uses Blaine's stunt as an opportunity to look into the "effects of refeeding after prolonged fasting" -- including a little graph plotting serum phosphate levels in relation to energy intake, whatever that means -- and Blaine himself shares a byline. (Note: The article refers to him as a "performance artist.") Blaine is apparently still smarting from the utter failure of his latest stunt, an attempt to hold his breath underwater for nine minutes, and has said he's going to try again in the future. Perhaps in the meantime someone can study his scary hands for the negative effects of prolonged exposure to water. (New England Journal of Medicine, Reuters)
Cruise still tops Bush: Despite his own sagging poll numbers, couch-jumpin', silent-birth-mandatin' Tom Cruise is still more popular with the people than President Bush is. A USA Today/Gallup poll conducted over the weekend showed Cruise with a 35 percent favorable rating (51 percent unfavorable), which -- while his lowest yet -- still put him a comfortable four points ahead of Bush's 31 percent favorable rating for the same weekend. (Us Online, Reuters)
Sambora says he's no two-timer: Before heading off to Europe for the next leg of Bon Jovi's current tour, Richie Sambora tried to clear the air about the messy love triangle among him, soon-to-be ex Heather Locklear and current flame Denise Richards. "I will do anything to enable all of us to move past all of this," he told the mag. As far as the rumors about him cheating on Locklear with Richards, Sambora just bristled, "I remained faithful during my marriage. And I defy anyone to refute that." (Us Online)
Pete Doherty will be showing his paintings in a London gallery later this year. The works, showing the life of a touring rock star, are all made with Doherty's blood. (NME) ... Regis Philbin will be hosting a new series from Simon Cowell, an "American Idol"-esque talent show called "America's Got Talent," set to begin in June. (Broadcasting & Cable) ... Keith Richards update: The Rolling Stones guitarist has been released from the hospital in New Zealand, again, and is said to be recovering from his surgery to relieve pressure from his head injury last week. (Associated Press) ... Tom Hanks has entered the Guinness Book of World Records, under the title of "Actor With Most Consecutive $100 Million Grossing Movies." (Post Chronicle) ... A.M. Rosenthal, former longtime executive editor of the New York Times, died on Wednesday in Manhattan at age 84. (N.Y. Times)
It's the season finale for both "My Name Is Earl" (NBC, 8:30 p.m. EDT) and "The Office" (NBC, 9:15 p.m. EDT); Howell Raines is on "Charlie Rose" (PBS, check local listings) with guest host Walter Isaacson, president of the Aspen Institute; and the Discovery Channel airs "Conspiracy Files: JFK Assassination" (9 p.m. EDT), with never-before-seen files from the CIA archive.
-- Scott Lamb