Sylvester Stallone claimed Richard Gere thought he had started a wild urban myth about a gerbil being removed from his rectum after a row over a greasy chicken sparked a feud between the two actors”

Rumor, nothin’. In Breathless there’s a scene where you can actually see the gerbil poking his head out like a gopher.

Here is the short cut to the full COVID report for Wednesday.

The USA’s same-day-of-week comparison of “new cases” has now dropped for 28 consecutive days, and the percentage drop has been in double digits for 16 consecutive days.

The 7-day average of positive testing percentage again dropped. It is now at 3.1%, setting another all-time low.

Those are signs of great progress, but all is not hunky-dory:

There were 841 fatalities reported on Wednesday, compared to just 743 last Wednesday. That broke a long streak of days in which the week-on-week was going in the correct direction. Oklahoma topped the nation by a wide margin in COVID fatalities per capita. That marks the second time this week that Oklahoma has been far higher than the second-highest state. This is either a sudden outbreak or some kind of reporting irregularity, because just two days ago, the Oklahoma City ABC affiliate crowed: “Oklahoma is only state with a 50% decrease in new COVID-19 in the past week compared to the previous week.” I guess we will need time to sort that one out.

Quite a game. Not many pitchers get to hit in the #2 slot, but he’s not your average pitcher. He is leading the AL in homers!

(And as a pitcher, he has allowed only 11 hits in 26 innings. while striking out 40.)

He’s the most interesting player to come around in decades. One year in Japan (2016) he had an earned run average below 2.00 and an OPS above 1.000! The only pitcher I can remember who clearly could have been a star as an every day player was Don Newcombe, who led the NL in winning percentage one year with a 20-5 record while batting .359 with an OPS over 1.000.

Newcombe was never an every day outfielder in MLB because he was just too good on the mound. One year he won 27 games. Newk did, however, have one season with the Reds late in his career when he appeared in more games pinch-hitting than pitching, and batted over .300 for the season. Newcombe did end his professional career as an every day outfielder, but not in the USA. He did that by pulling a reverse Ohtani and migrating to Japan where he posted a very respectable .473 slugging average in his final pro season. To put that in perspective, Ernie Banks posted a .464 slugging average over his final 12 seasons, encompassing the 60s and 70s.

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A statistical oddity: with the season almost a quarter over, middle reliever Heath Hembree of the Reds, who has never been an especially good pitcher, has not allowed a single hit. (OK, he’s only been in six games – but still!)

You may want to start following the free version of The Fun House if you aren’t already doing so. Aesthete just began his project to capture all the nudity in Californication in 1080hd. In today’s first installment, he’s covering the copious nudity in episode one, including Madeline Zima in the famous “fucking and punching” scene, which is pictured below.


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This scene was #5 in our poll of the Top Nude Scenes of 2007. It doesn’t seem that long ago. 14 years already? Zima is now 35 years old.

Step aside, Hef, Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Wilt Chamberlain and DeCaprio. The new king of the party dudes is in da house!

It brings to mind the Beverly Hillbillies, when Jethro set his career sights on “Famous International Playboy.”

But then again, I guess a hundred billion dollars could even get Clint Howard some decent trim.

His career was impressive.

He worked with Orson Welles in the Mercury Theater group. He frequently played tennis with Charlie Chaplin. And then … a bit later … he was in a 2015 movie.

Yeah, he was around a while.

Perhaps equally impressive is that he and his wife were married for 75 years. Her life was cut short at a mere 98.