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Posted at 4:55 a.m. EST Wednesday, January 26, 2000

RESEARCHERS WITH FAR TOO MUCH TIME TO KILL

DATE: Tuesday, October 14, 1997 : Edited by Mickey Porter from Beacon Journal wire services. PORTER'S PEOPLE A study of 12,000 people by University of North Carolina researchers revealed that those who drink lots of beer have large bellies while those who drink lots of wine don't.

Trashing icons

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh's long-awaited book, The Dark Side of Camelot, will be far darker than anything previously written about John and Robert Kennedy.

In the new Vanity Fair, Robert Sam Anson profiles Hersh and uncovers the book's reported revelations. A sample:

+ Close ties between the brothers Kennedy and organized crime.

+ Seamy, previously undisclosed sexual escapades in and out of the White House.

+ The Catholic Church's alleged annulment of JFK's long-rumored first marriage, to a Palm Beach socialite.

+ The fixing of the 1960 presidential election.

+ Assassination plots directed against a variety of foreign leaders.

+ Harrowing depictions of JFK's flirtation with nuclear strikes.

Although the Kennedy family has a policy of not responding to critical books, Hersh tells Anson, `They're going to come after me.`

What's with this?To date, Jay Leno has cracked 50 Marv Albert jokes while David Letterman, a close friend of the cross-dressing sportscaster, hasn't even mentioned his name, according to a Time mag tally.

The sporting news The Denver-New England game a week ago yesterday was Frank Gifford's 400th telecast on ABC's Monday Night Football.

`He's the dean of all broadcasters,` says social commentator Argus Hamilton. `When he started broadcasting, Marv Albert was still in a training bra.`

Peeper keepers John Mentus, head of the Rhode Island chapter of The Promise Keepers, tells Playboy how members of his Christian men's group avoid the temptation of X-rated moves in their hotel rooms:

`They take a towel, stick it over the television and put their Bible on top so as to keep sexual desires out of there.`

Tempus fugit Actor Roger Moore, quite dashing as James Bond, is 70 today.

This day in music 1993 -- Rolling Stone mag ranks the video for Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer as the best ever.

Nice try Scene: A store in midtown Manhattan.

Observer: A New York Times operative.

Cashier No. 1 sneezes.

Cashier No. 2: `Gesundheit!`

Cashier No. 1: `What?`

Cashier No. 2: `Gesundheit!`

Cashier No. 1: `What does that mean?`

Cashier No. 2: `It means 'God bless you' in Japanese.`

School daze Stanford First Freshman Chelsea Clinton isn't the only famous person on a college campus these days. The matriculation of two supermodels has heads swiveling at New York University. Christy Turlington is a junior majoring in liberal arts; Amber Valletta is a freshman majoring in environmental politics, no less.

Entertainment Weekly says these actors also are pursuing degrees:

+ Melissa Joan Hart of Sabrina, NYU, sophomore, no major.

+ Jaleel White of Family Matters, UCLA, sophomore, film, TV.

+ Mayim Bialik of Blossom, UCLA, junior, psychology.

+ Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, Harvard, senior, music.

Sky-high hair `I never had so much body.`

-- Space shuttle pilot Susan Still, on how her long, straight hair turned into a virtual bouffant in orbit. Quoted in Newsweek.

The final word According to a new study, 71 percent of all Americans are overweight. And today McDonald's said, `That's not good enough, we want 100 percent.`

-- Jay Leno

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