HE TAKES A LICKING BUT KEEPS ON WHIRRING
ROBERT TOOLS woke up one day and discovered he had lost his heart. In its place was a buzzing 4-lb., grapefruit-size plastic-and-titanium lump. Nevertheless, Tools was happy to be able to wake up at all. His real heart had failed him, and he had become the first person to receive a fully contained mechanical heart. The retired tech librarian, 59, from Franklin, Ky., revealed his identity and addressed the media last week--two months after doctors had given him only 30 days to live. Tools opted to have the device, the AbioCor, implanted as part of a federal clinical trial at Jewish Hospital in Louisville. Surgeons Robert Dowling and Laman Gray are pleased with his progress and hope to release Tools after he regains about 30 lbs. Until then, no vigorous activity--which means Tools must keep press conferences to twice a week.
KOFI ANNAN IS A VERY SMART MAN
Snicker if you will--it's certainly understandable--but ANGELINA JOLIE actually earned the title of goodwill ambassador for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. While filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in Cambodia, Jolie, 26, met former refugees who told her about the UNHCR. When she called requesting information, the organization offered to make her an ambassador on the spot. Rather than immediately accept, Jolie paid her own way to visit Africa, Cambodia and Pakistan to meet relief workers and refugees. Jolie accepted the title last week, and details of her African diary are available on the U.N. website. Besides a bit of vintage Jolie--quotes like "I am already sweating. I lick it off my top lip" and advice tidbits from curiously close brother Jamie--there's some intriguing stuff. When a baby in Sierra Leone screamed upon seeing her, his mother explained, "He's scared because of the color of your skin." It certainly couldn't have been that vial of husband Billy Bob Thornton's blood on the chain around her neck.
After a month of negotiations, the decision: LISA HARRISON--the WNBA's Sexiest Babe, according to Playboy.com's online poll--will not drop her shorts for a Playboy layout. The 6-ft. Phoenix Mercury forward, who won the poll in a runaway after she breezily mentioned that she might pose if she won, decided she wouldn't show her most valuable assets after Playboy declined to show her the right combination of figures. (Neither side would discuss exact numbers.) During the unusually public full-court press by Playboy, persuasive layouts of volleyballer Gabrielle Reece and skater Katarina Witt were sent to Harrison. But this is a woman of firm principles. Said she: "I felt I really needed to stick to my guns and what I originally asked for." Playboy shrugged off the rejection and turned to more pressing matters: Playboy.com's contest for the sexiest babe of U.S. Open tennis.
TONY TONY TONY! GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS!