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  INCOMING! MARCH 21, 2005.  


Today Congress continues to trample on the family drama of Terri Schiavo.

For 15 years, Schiavo has had roughly the mental capacity of a Furby; she can blink and respond to light. (Though she has a little trouble with the cooing.) But when her feeding tube was yanked out on Friday following a Florida judge's ruling, congressional Republicans and right-to lifers sprang to action. Congressional Democrats, still shaken by the 2004 elections, were too busy trying to sound natural saying "God" to offer much help to Schiavo's husband, who claims his wife would want to die.

A minute after midnight Monday morning, Congress hoped to pass a compromise bill, re-inserting Schiavo's feeding tube, while the matter is sent back to a higher court. This came after efforts last week by Congress to call Schiavo as a federal witness before the House, an effort to require doctors to re-insert the tube so she could "testify." (Even catatonic, she would have to say something more substantial than Mark McGwire did.)

In other news, Kofi Annan will announce his plan for sweeping policy changes in the United Nations … aw … who are we kidding? Michael Jackson's molestation trial continues this week.

In this third week of coverage, expect prosecutor Tom Sneddon to continue his 15-year quest to prove the gloved-one gave his houseguests more than a Pepsi. Expect Jackson's insanely coiffed attorney Thomas Mesereau -- imagine Doc Brown after decades of three-martini lunches -- to continue accusing the accuser of gold-digging. And, because Judge Rodney Melville banned cameras from inside the courtroom, expect the news to



show more riveting footage of Jackson walking into and, eight hours later, out of the building.





For any aliens still hanging around from Sunday's Festival of Extraterrestrial Abductions Day, today is Captain James T. Kirk's birthday -- though technically the commander of the Starship . . . Enterprise won't be born until the year 2233.

He updated that Captain's Log so religiously -- does that make him the world's first blogger?

Coincidentally, it's William Shatner's birthday. The puffy actor best known for shagging sexy aliens and rolling off car hoods into Heather Locklear will be 74. Recently Shatner's career has been in full comeback mode; he's Denny Crane on ABC's "Boston Legal" and helps re-introduce Sandra Bullock to pasties and anorexia in Miss Congeniality and the released-on-Friday Miss Congeniality II: Armed and Fabulous.

And that's not all! Next week we can catch Mr. Shatner in the Spike TV original mini-series (now there's a line we hoped never to have to type) "Invasion Iowa." From the trailer, it appears the show is a mean-spirited hoax, trying to convince small town residents they're under alien attack. As the preview says: "Shat happens."

Today is also National Goof Off Day. No one knows


the official origin of this holiday: The creators meant to write it down, but got distracted fashioning a giant ball out of rubber bands.

And the evening news will relay the latest in the Jacko trial with court illustrations and shots of Jackson walking into and out of the courthouse.




On this day in 1983, the world at large scratched its collective head when President Ronald Reagan made his initial proposal to develop the Star Wars. Officially known as the Strategic Defense Initiative, the plan was to develop technology that would intercept enemy missiles and shoot them out of the sky.

Though costs, and, um, science kept the system from becoming fully operational, work as a special correspondent on the project helped Captain Kirk through the lean post-"TJ Hooker" years.

Today is also National Day in Pakistan. The event will be marked by a huge military parade in the capital city, Islamabad. In addition, this year President Gen. Pervez Musharraf and company have something extra to celebrate. Over the weekend, the military completed successful testing of the Shaheen II. The new missile has a range of 1,250 miles. Hmm, how far is that … oh, I don't know … no one's really counting, roughly, maybe … to the heart of India.

On Court TV Michael Jackson will walk in and out of



a courthouse.

And in 1839, The Boston Morning Press recorded the first use of the term 'OK" as an abbreviation for the term "ol Korrect." No one knows when Dokey followed.




Expect teenage boys everywhere to spontaneously lose interest in teenage girls today when Sony unveils its Playstation Portable. Seriously, forget abstinence-only programs: Just give every 11-22-year-old the new PSP -- which plays video games, music and movies -- and teen pregnancy could be completely wiped out.

Anticipated sales of the new device are expected to chew up Nintendo's Gameboy market dominance, but if everyone's fingers are strained and sore from all the rubber band balls they're making on National Goof-Off Day, you never know.

Michael Jackson will most likely walk in and out of the courthouse.

Also today, March Madness resumes knocking "CSI" spinoffs off CBS primetime. This is the Sweet


Sixteen, so expect to see Molly Ringwald and Long Duk Dong to spike the cooler with dad's Johnnie Walker and make-out with secret boyfriends under the bleachers.




Friday is Good Friday. But really: What's so great about having to lug a giant wooden cross up a hill and then being nailed to it and left to bleed/starve/have organs collapse. Seems like a pretty crappy way to start the weekend if you ask me.

In an event as far removed from the crucifixion as you can get, "Sex and the City" star Sarah Jessica Parker turns 40. She'll celebrate by dancing around in Gap Khakis and calling HBO execs to say she was so very very wrong to think she'd have a career after the show.

Catch the last riveting shots of Michael Jackson walking in and out of the courthouse until next week.

On Sunday, Christians around the world will celebrate the resurrection of their savior, Jesus Christ, by wearing bonnets, manhandling rabbits, and popping Peeps.

Did you know that the Just Born Candy Company -- the manufacturer of the frighteningly fluorescent chicks and bunnies -- makes misshapen



marshmallow confections for other occasions? There's a summer star, and something green and Christmassy.

But before driving your blood sugar into the stratosphere, notice the mixture of "ingredients' is called slurry. Seriously: Take the "Factory Tour." The ingredients are simply called "slurry."

Chew on that while you try to chew your chick.


Shari Goldhagen is a freelance writer in New York City. Captain Kirk was her first crush.


INCOMING! runs every Monday on The Black Table.