Chatter

updated 08/29/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/29/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Space Cadet
A NASA task force recently recommended that nonastronauts be invited for a ride in the Space Shuttle. One of the first volunteers is erstwhile tulip-tripper Tiny Tim, 55ish. "I don't exercise and they could see what bodily effects space travel would have on the average person," notes Tim, who adds that his is not an entirely altruistic gesture. "Frankly, I think it would be great for my varicose veins. They say there's less pressure up there."

Horse of a Different Crooner
Since 1974 Burt Bacharach has been breeding racehorses, including a young filly he originally named Been Rejected. But when Neil Diamond's version of Heartlight, which Burt co-composed with wife Carole Bayer Sager and Diamond, hit the Top 10 last year, Burt changed the name of the filly to Heartlight No. One. Luck didn't rub off immediately—the horse was injured slightly in its first race. But just before its second running, at Hollywood Park, Burt had Carole sing the horse its song, and Heartlight won handily. Then, before a second race there in early July, Burt asked Neil Diamond to croon to the critter; that time Heartlight won by 12 lengths. A couple of weeks later, at Del Mar, Calif., Carole sang again and Heartlight won again, which convinced Burt and Carole they were onto something. Another one of Burt's horses, Arthur's Theme (also a song the two helped write), is almost old enough to race, and any day now Christopher Cross—who made Arthur's Theme a hit—can expect an invitation to serenade.

Ring of Untruth
Lots of married men don't wear wedding bands. LeVar Burton of Roots fame is one single man who does. "Women have done it for years," reasons Burton, "especially models and such who are exposed to predatory males. So why shouldn't men do it? It saves me from embarrassing situations." And it's so much more humane than beating them off with a stick....

Power Pop
The 1978 tune Paradise by the Dashboard Light helped Meat Loaf become a rock 'n' roll headliner. Although his most recent album, Midnight at the Lost and Found, failed to burn up the charts, the beefy singer has found other ways to demonstrate he's still a heavyweight. Stopping in Moosic, Pa. during a recent tour, the Loaf won a beer-can-eating contest, crushing—but not swallowing—six cans with his teeth in five minutes. On another stop, in Detroit, when an equipment truck got stuck on a slippery hotel lawn, Meat Loaf single-handedly moved the vehicle after others had failed to budge it. Now if only he could strong-arm the public into buying his record.

Furthermore

•At 55, Roger Moore still looks studly as Octopussy's James Bond. What's his secret? "I attribute it to clean living," he confides. "I only drink Jack Daniel's out of a clean glass."

•Jimmy Stewart, asked to speak before a gathering of 1,200 FBI agents in Washington, D.C., figured they'd picked him because of his portrayal of a young agent in 1959's F.B.I. Story. Wrong, said FBI Director William Webster, who proceeded to praise Stewart for developing a friendship with "one of our very first undercover agents...a fellow named Harvey."

•Ron Howard, who was a star at the age of 2, says he will let his daughter, Bryce, decide if she wants to get into showbiz. But at 234, Bryce already seems destined to become a director. Ron took her to the set of Splash, a film that he's directing about a mermaid, and soon she was running around saying "Action" and "Cut, please." All she has to learn now is "Love ya, you're beautiful, don't ever change, let's have lunch."

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