Power to the Peephole, Right On!

Orange County, which made it onto the big screen last year with the motion picture Orange County, comes to a small screen near you soon in the Fox television series The O.C.Developed by McG—the noted video director who made his big-screen debut with Charlie's Angels before going on to executive produce Fox's FastlaneThe O.C. revolves around a street-smart teen (do we have those in Orange County?) who works his way into Newport Beach's high-class society.
"Think Beverly Hills 90210 with more surfing," reports the TV-junkie website Zap2it.com. Peter Gallagher is set to play an idealistic public defender (do we have those in Orange County?). Despite Fastlane's slow-lane ratings performance, Fox is apparently jazzed about The O.C., having already ordered more episodes before the pilot has even aired. The premiere date is pending.

Remember the old movie poster for Dirty Harry in which the long, black barrel of the .44 Magnum looked bigger than Clint Eastwood? That revolver will look like a snubnose next to Smith & Wesson's all-new .50-caliber Magnum, the biggest handgun ever. The $989, five-shot revolver has an 8.5-inch barrel, weighs about 4.5 pounds (a pound heavier than Harry Callahan's .44) and fires a new .50-caliber cartridge packing three times the muzzle energy of the .44. That's enough firepower to bring down a charging bear, brags Smith & Wesson. That's not all they'll bring down, according to Tom Ortiz, executive director of the Violence Policy Center. He tells the Associated Press the ferocious .50s pose a new threat to law enforcement. Says Ortiz, "It boggles the mind." IMMINENTLY QUOTABLE
"I definitely wanted to fight against slavery." —Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach), on why he choose a Union uniform for his cameo role in the Civil War epicGods and Generals, which opens Feb. 21. Reported inU.S. News & World Report. EL SCORCHO'D
Mexican fast-food giant Taco Bell has experienced its share of public-relations nightmares of late. While Irvine-based Taco Bell has nearly 7,000 fast-food joints compared to Lake Forest-based Del Taco's 415, the Nation's Restaurant News reports that individual Del Taco stores out-earn Taco Bells. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)—which represents pickers of Taco Bell tomatoes grown in Immokalee, Florida—have launched another hunger strike which culminates in a Feb. 28 "national protest" outside Taco Bell's corporate headquarters at 17901 Von Karman Ave.

But the biggest black eye is a severed nose. A real Chihuahua named Gizmo nearly choked to death on the snout of a stuffed Taco Bell Chihuahua doll late last month in Janesville, Wisconsin. A 911 dispatcher had to relay emergency instructions labeled "Obstructed Airway—Infant" to the pet's owner, who gave Gizmo several whacks on the back until he coughed up the fake ratdog nose. The Taco Bell doll has since been put out of Gizmo's reach. A macho combo of heavy symbolism, no?

Among the fallout from building homes in wildlife corridors are some of the horrific images that can forever be burned into the brains of adults and young children. Take the case of a doe—a deer, a female deer—in Coto de Caza on Feb. 7. The fully grown doe was doing what deer and coyotes and bobcats have done for thousands of years: wandering about that hilly terrain. The only thing is, some of that terrain is now covered with an upscale, gated housing community. The Feb. 14 weekly Canyon Life newspaper reports that when neighbors walked toward the deer, it sprinted away and got tangled up in a wrought-iron fence on the tract's south end. As anxious onlookers huddled around, the freaked-out doe shook and kicked its hooves violently to work itself free, but failed. Sheriff's deputies and Animal Control could not untangle the deer. Finally, firetrucks—with their sirens blaring—came racing up to the street. As a boisterous crowd looked on, firefighters used a hacksaw to free the frightened doe—which promptly took two steps and dropped dead from shock. The death of Bambi's mom couldn't have been sadder.

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