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NAMES & FACES

Saturday, December 17, 2005

'Science' Scooped Up

Chris Mooney just got supersized. His bestseller, "The Republican War on Science," has been optioned for the big screen by Morgan Spurlock , the Oscar-nominated filmmaker who famously took on obesity by eating only fast food in "Super Size Me."

"I'm just quite overwhelmed that the book has gotten this much attention," Mooney, 28, said yesterday of his work, much of it written inside Tryst, an Adams Morgan coffee shop. "It's a function of American scientists being extremely alarmed."

In his book, Mooney, a Washington correspondent for Seed magazine and the American Prospect and past contributor to The Washington Post, accuses the Bush administration of relying on pseudo-science in crafting its policies on global warming, evolution, stem cell research and sex education. Mooney saw his book hit the bestseller list just as Katrina hit his home town of New Orleans, sending family members to camp in his Woodley Park apartment.

"There was a time when science was respected by politicians and government officials and when the information obtained through unbiased scientific exploration was used for the better[ment] of society," Spurlock said in a statement. "Today all of that is being ignored, manipulated or used incorrectly to further political agendas."

A New 'Apprentice' Survivor

Donald Trump chose Randal Pinkett , the 34-year-old founder of a New Jersey consulting firm, for his fourth "Apprentice" on the show's finale Thursday.

Pinkett bested Rebecca Jarvis , a 24-year-old financial journalist based in Chicago, the other finalist on the NBC reality show.

"Randal, you're an amazing leader," Trump said. "Rarely have I seen a leader as good as you, and you lead through niceness."

He concluded: "Rebecca, you're outstanding; Randal, you're hired."

Pinkett wins a job with a six-figure salary at the Trump Organization.

For his winning project, Pinkett chose to work on casino expansions in Atlantic City, N.J. -- rather than on the construction of a condominium in Jersey City.

Trump nearly threw a monkey wrench into Thursday's proceedings. After announcing the winner, he asked Pinkett if he should also hire Jarvis.

"I firmly believe this is 'The Apprentice,' " Pinkett replied. "That there is one and only 'Apprentice,' and if you're going to hire someone tonight, it should be one."

Trump said he "could have been convinced" to hire Jarvis but opted to agree with Pinkett and "leave it at that." (That amiable appearance Pinkett cultivated throughout the series seemed to vanish in a flash. Funny how that happens.)

Hatcher Wins Libel Suit

She may be desperate, but she's not that desperate, right?

Teri Hatcher , star of ABC's hit series "Desperate Housewives," prevailed in a libel case against a British tabloid that accused her of having sex with men in a van outside her home.

The Daily Sport published stories saying as much about the actress in July and again in August. The tabloid agreed to pay "very substantial damages" and run a front-page apology that promised not to repeat the charges against Hatcher, a single mother to a 7-year-old daughter.

In a statement, Hatcher said she had "tolerated many ridiculous and fabricated lies and gossip in the tabloids" as part of her fame.

"But when a story appeared about me, insinuating that I am an irresponsible and neglectful parent, I had to draw the line," she said.

End Note

Ashlee Simpson collapsed and was hospitalized after a performance in Tokyo for MTV Japan, US Weekly reported yesterday. The 21-year-old singer had just performed her single "Boyfriend" when she told the audience she felt sick. She then collapsed in an elevator and was taken in an ambulance to the hospital. Her upcoming appearance at the Radio Music Awards on Monday has been canceled.

Compiled by Christian Hettinger from staff and wire reports

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