- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 2, 2009

Astronomers say that something huge has slammed into Jupiter and left a “scar” as big as the Earth.

I’m thinking that no one has seen John Goodman lately. Coincidence?

According to the Times of London, an amateur astronomer in England first spotted the mark on Jupiter and alerted NASA officials, who apparently were watching “Deep Impact” at the time.

Whatever hit Jupiter, I just hope Lindsay Lohan wasn’t behind the wheel. Because that would be her third strike.

•••


There was a report out last week that researchers have duplicated parts of a rat brain from lab data and say that a functioning artificial brain could be built within 10 years.

I’m just wondering what kind of market there is for artificial rat brains.

A key researcher said that a synthetic brain will help scientists understand mental disorders.

This is good news for me because I think I violated the warranty on the original one I was given. (Hey, it was the early ‘70s!)

And to think that the Scarecrow settled for a diploma. What a chump!

•••


The Times of London reported that the Anglican Church has introduced a combination wedding-and-baptism liturgy to encourage marriage in Britain, where 40 percent of children are born out of wedlock.

Senior bishops say the “hatch and match” service does not veer from church teachings, but some clergy disapprove.

“It is a shame that what should be a bride’s day now stands to be hijacked by screaming kids,” one bishop said.

Another joked: “It’s a pity they haven’t put in a funeral for grandma as well.”

The new service is advertised as the “one-stop hitch and rinse.”

Now there’s talk about Anglicans celebrating Christmas and Easter on the same day — just to save time, you know.

If they really want to make their church services more convenient, they should install a drive-through lane.

And validate your parking.

•••


The Republican Party has settled with singer/songwriter Jackson Browne for using his song “Running on Empty” in John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign ads.

In the settlement, the GOP has promised not to use copyrighted material without an artist’s permission.

Personally, I don’t know what the RNC was thinking in using Browne’s “Running on Empty” in the first place.

Here’s the refrain: “Running on — running on empty/Running on — running blind/Running on — running into the sun/But I’m running behind”

THAT’s what the McCain campaign picked as its theme song? What were they trying to tell voters? That the candidate is out of gas, can’t see where he’s going, is heading in the wrong direction and is losing the race?

And they wonder why McCain lost?!

I mean, for a political campaign, they couldn’t have picked a worse Jackson Browne song, except maybe “The Pretender.”

•••


Did you hear that the White House rescheduled to 8 p.m. President Obama’s televised press conference on health care because NBC had planned to air an interview with singer Susan Boyle at 9 p.m.? It’s true.

For those of you who have lives but no Internet access, Susan Boyle is a 40-something Scottish spinster who placed second in the UK’s TV competition “Britain’s Got Talent.”

So an interview with the loser of a British talent show bumped a presidential address on a key issue of the day. There’s a joke in there somewhere — and I think it’s on us.

It looks like NBC got REALLY close to Obama during its one-day-in-life coverage a few weeks ago. During the president’s most recent physical exam, the doctor asked Obama to turn his head and NBC coughed.

•••


For the record, I have to report that Manhattan authorities have dropped charges against Keifer Sutherland that had been filed after the “24” star head-butted a designer at a nightclub in May.

The victim declined to cooperate in the prosecution after resolving the matter with Sutherland.

In addition, Los Angeles authorities have decided not to pursue Sutherland for violating his probation on a DUI conviction.

I think the authorities on both coasts think Sutherland really is Jack Bauer — and nobody messes with Jack Bauer.

I just hope the president didn’t make any calls suggesting that Bauer was working for the administration at the time of Sutherland’s violations. Because that would be wrong.

And confusing.

•••


The Obamas recently hosted a celebration of country music in the East Room of the White House, featuring country stars Charley Pride, Allison Krauss and Brad Paisley.

The glitterati of Washington and Nashville filled the room for the event, the second in a series of showcases of American music at the White House.

There was one odd moment during the event. President Obama said he has been a longtime lover of country music and then started a line dance. Unfortunately, it was the “Electric Slide.”

He said it was just like being at the Grand Old Opera.

You can reach Carleton Bryant at 202/636-3218 and cbryant@washingtontimes.com — but only if you’re Jackson Browne.

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