It's All in the Finger of the Beholder
the chick with the most clicks.Who's the sexiest woman in the world? Upfront has our own opinion (we'll get to that later) but according to the men's on-line magazine FHM, it's Megan Fox, the 21-year-old star of the Transformers movies.
The shapely brunette, notable for her blue eyes and plentiful tattoos, beat out three Jessicas (Biel, Alba and Simpson), two Jennifers (Aniston and Love-Hewitt) and a swarm of Nicoles, Lindsays, Beyonces, Keiras, Charlizes, Halles and Giselles, plus a Fergie, to take top honors in the highly unscientific, on-line poll.
The Top 100 list included a few hardy perennials like Pamela Anderson (Number 75), Paris Hilton (77) and Madonna (87), but for the most part it seemed to be made up of relative newcomers - perhaps a reflection of the demographics of FHM, which appears to be geared toward 20-somethings who live above their parents' garage and play Nintendo a lot.
Incidentally, Britney Spears, who has been having more than her share of family, psychiatric and other problems lately, barely made the cut, coming in at Number 100.
Tragically, but probably no surprise given the youth and unsophistication of the voters, the truly sexiest woman in the world, French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, didn't make the list. Upfront has adopted a strict exercise regimen to get our mouse-clicking finger in shape for next year's balloting.
Awesome, but Shocking
File under "Right, THIS Is Gonna Work": A Los Angeles businessman is planning to spend $500 million to develop a Disneyland-style theme park in Baghdad.
Llewellyn Werner plans to create the "Baghdad Zoo and Entertainment Experience," described by The Times of Britain as "a massive American-style amusement park that will feature a skateboard park, rides, a concert theatre and a museum."
Werner has bought a 50-year lease on a 50-acre site that includes the former Baghdad Zoo, which was mostly destroyed following the American invasion in 2003. The first phase, the $1 million skateboard park, is supposed to open in July.
"I wouldn't be doing this if I wasn't making money," said Werner. But at the same time, he said he's hoping the theme park will make life better for Iraqis and help heal the wounds left by five years of violence.
And he also feels confident that, despite the occasional car bombing and mortar attack in the vicinity, the park will be a safe place.
"I think people will embrace it," he said. "They'll see it as an opportunity for their children regardless if they're Shia or Sunni. They'll say their kids deserve a place to play and they'll leave it alone."
Give Us This Day Our $3-a-Gallon Gas
Well, we guess it can't hurt.
Rocky Twyman, a community organizer, church choir director and public relations consultant from the Washington, DC area, staged a series of "pray-ins" at gas stations in San Francisco, Oakland and DC last week, imploring the Lord to have mercy on motorists and do something about the horrendous price of gas.
"God is the only one we can turn to at this point," Twyman told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Our leaders don't seem to be able to do anything about it. The prices keep soaring and soaring."
Twyman urged Americans everywhere to follow his lead in praying for gas pain relief, and advised them to keep it simple: "God, deliver us from these high gas prices. That's all they have to say."
"Given the complete inertia and silence of this White House on a crisis that has people feeling just hopeless, prayer is probably as good as anything," said Judy Dugan, a research director with the nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog. "Frankly, I wish them luck."
The High Price of a Wide Stance
Troubles just keep piling up for Larry Craig, the Idaho Republican senator who was busted last June for trying to solicit sex from an undercover cop in a men's room stall at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.
Craig had been dipping into his campaign war chest to pay the legal team he hired to contest the charges. But according to the Washington Post, the Senate Ethics Committee has told him back in February he can't do that anymore - and now Craig is just about broke.
"Craig is continuing his appeal of a Minnesota court ruling that upheld his guilty plea," the Post wrote, "and he is continuing to rack up legal bills" - more than $407,000 to date. No longer able to tap his campaign funds, "he is left to fight this uphill battle with his own finances - which are incredibly meager."
According to the Post's story, Craig has only a couple of small personal retirement accounts plus a savings account with the Senate's federal credit union containing between $50,000 and $100,000 - about enough to pay a hotshot lawyer for a week.
"He also could tap his wife's personal account with the credit union - worth somewhere between $15,000 and $50,000 - but we're guessing Mrs. Craig may not be willing to foot the legal bills for her husband's 'wide stance,'" the Post wrote.