Self-Made Man

Jay Leno has hosted the Tonight Show for 14 years, but he has never touched a cent of his earnings, living off stand-up performances instead.

“My original profession was and still is a comedian,” he says, “not a personality.”

Silly Old Bear

Psychological diagnoses of inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood, according to an article published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2000:

  • Winnie-the-Pooh: ADHD, inattentive subtype; OCD (provisional diagnosis); borderline intellectual functioning (Very Little Brain)
  • Piglet: Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Eeyore: Dysthymic disorder
  • Rabbit: Narcissistic personality disorder
  • Owl: Reading disorder
  • Tigger: ADHD, hyperactivity-impulsivity subtype

“Pooh needs intervention,” the authors conclude. “We feel drugs are in order. We cannot but wonder how much richer Pooh’s life might be were he to have a trial of low-dose stimulant medication. With the right supports, including methylphenidate, Pooh might be fitter and more functional and perhaps produce (and remember) more poems.”


Actors who appeared in The Conqueror (1956) and subsequently died of cancer:

  • John Wayne
  • Susan Hayward
  • Agnes Moorehead
  • Pedro Armendáriz
  • John Hoyt

Director Dick Powell died of cancer in 1963. The movie, in which Wayne played Genghis Khan, was shot in St. George, Utah, downwind of Nevada open-air nuclear testing, and producer Howard Hughes had 60 tons of dirt shipped back to Hollywood for use in reshoots.

By 1981, 91 of the 220 cast and crew had developed some form of cancer, and more than half of them were already dead.

“With these numbers, this case could qualify as an epidemic,” said University of Utah biologist Robert Pendleton. “In a group this size you’d expect only 30-some cancers to develop. … I think the tie-in to their exposure on the set of The Conqueror would hold up in a court of law.”

Naming Rights

Some paleontologists have a sense of humor. When Jenny Clack of the University of Cambridge discovered a fossil amphibian in the bed of an ancient swamp, she named it Eucritta melanolimnetes.

That’s Greek for “the creature from the black lagoon.”