Empty Pleasure

At last: The people at the National Toy Hall of Fame have inducted the empty cardboard box onto their list of all-time favorite toys. In addition to fellow honorees Candy Land and the jack-in-the-box, the empty box was heralded for its imaginative good times.

"I think every adult has had that disillusioning experience of picking what they think is a wonderful toy for a child, and then finding the kid playing with the box," said Christopher Bensch, chief curator of the Strong Museum in Rochester, N.Y., which houses 70,000 nostalgic toys and dolls. "It's that empty box full of possibilities that the kids can sense and the adults don't always see."

Good Morning, Good Morning!

Paul McCartney sang "Good Day Sunshine" to wake up the international space station crew Sunday morning. In the first-ever concert linkup to the space station, McCartney sang the Beatles classic and "English Tea" to a cheering crowd Saturday night here on Earth and to NASA astronaut Bill McArthur and Russian cosmonaut Valery Tokarev on the space station 220 miles above.

NASA's live feed showed McArthur and Tokarev dancing (bobbing up and down) and sipping their squeeze pouches. "I can't believe that we're actually transmitting to space," the Cute Beatle gushed. "This is sensational. I love it."

Shake B4 Opening

Screaming fans of the boy band B5 rushed the stage at a suburban Minneapolis shopping mall Saturday, in what the local Radio Disney station ominously termed a "girl frenzy." More than 2,000 fans converged on the Brookdale Center Mall in Brooklyn Center, Minn., for the show, but the band got through only one song before pandemonium broke out, overwhelming 10 security guards. Four people were treated at a hospital for minor injuries and five others were treated at the mall. No arrests, but possibly some hearts were broken.

Yes, Virginia, There Is Colin Farrell

Colonial Williamsburg is glamming itself up for some celeb action on its cobblestone streets when Terrence Malick's "The New World" opens Dec. 21 at the Kimball Theater. There will be two red-carpet, invitation-only screenings of Malick's big-budget version of the 398-year-old story of Capt. John Smith and Pocahontas. Malick filmed scenes of the movie at Jamestown and nearby locations, with Colin Farrell as Capt. John Smith and Q'orianka Kilcher as Pocahontas, as well as Christopher Plummer, August Schellenberg and Christian Bale.

End Notes

* Action star Jackie Chan made a surprise appearance Friday night at the unveiling of the 2008 Beijing Olympic mascots on a nationally televised gala in a Beijing sports arena. The elaborate ceremony revealed the closely guarded secret of the five cartoon characters and marked the 1,000-day countdown to the opening of the Olympics. The action star said he guessed that the giant panda (duh!) and Tibetan antelope would be among the mascots, which also included a fish, a Beijing swallow and an Olympic flame.

* The Disabled Veterans' LIFE Memorial Foundation announced Friday that actor Gary Sinise will serve as its national spokesman. Sinise played Vietnam vet "Lt. Dan" in "Forrest Gump," a portrayal that Lois Pope, a co-founder of the foundation, said "brought home the terrible price that our men and women pay in the fight for our country's freedom." The foundation is working to raise $65 million to build the Disabled Veterans Memorial in Washington, which President Clinton authorized in 2000.

-- Compiled by Ashby Strassburger

from wire reports

A toy house made from a cardboard box. An empty box was enshrined in the National Toy Hall of Fame, along with the jack-in-the-box and Candy Land.

Paul McCartney performs in Anaheim, Calif., as cosmonaut Valery Tokarev and astronaut Bill McArthur catch a live feed of his performance from the space station.