Imagine looking like Bill Gates without the benefit of billions of dollars. Perhaps you won't begrudge Steve Sires his turn as a Bill Gates impersonator.
OCCUPATION: Microsoft chairman; philanthropist
RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENT: Creating Windows 2000. Working to eradicate polio globally
WEALTH ACCRUED AS BILL GATES: $80 billion
THOUGHTS ON BEING BILL GATES: "My life has been the same since I started Microsoft. I work hard and think about the next challenge."
OCCUPATION: Engineer; Bill Gates look-alike
RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENT: Posing for Shift magazine cover story on hypothetical Bill Gates makeovers
WEALTH ACCRUED AS BILL GATES: Several thousand dollars an appearance
THOUGHTS ON BEING BILL GATES: "I wonder how many people see me and think, 'Why in the world is Bill Gates pushing a cart at Costco?'"
ANOTHER REASON TO LOVE MODELS
If the easy money offered by game shows and Internet stocks didn't make you feel bad enough about putting in an eight-hour day, now comes word that top fashion model GISELE BUNDCHEN, 20, is asking for--and receiving--a record $7,000 an hour to glissade down the runway for the world's top designers. Gisele's rate is hardly scaring off clients; according to Women's Wear Daily, the Brazilian siren was in such high demand at last week's New York City Fashion Week that designer Tommy Hilfiger shelled out $15,000 for Bundchen to do two turns on the catwalk. Of course, there is a downside to being young, rich and beautiful: Marc Jacobs reportedly cut Gisele from his show because she was "too sexy."
First the bad news, at least for fans of SEAN ("Puffy") COMBS: New York prosecutors allege that while the rapper and multihyphenate trouble magnet waited in a holding cell following his arrest on a gun charge last December, police overheard him offer his driver $50,000 to take the blame for a stolen pistol found in Combs' limo. As collateral, Combs dangled a $40,000 pinkie ring--a recent gift from girlfriend Jennifer Lopez. The driver declined. "They think money can buy them out of this," said prosecutors, requesting that Combs' bail be upped from $10,000 to $150,000. (A judge will rule on the request Feb. 22.) Combs and his attorneys did not comment on the bribery allegation. And the good news? Pinkie rings are back.
KOBE TRIES A KILLER CROSSOVER
KOBE BRYANT, 21, knows recording studios are littered with the gargantuan bones of basketball players who thought they could rap. (Anyone unfamiliar with Shaquille O'Neal's Shaq Diesel or Chris Webber's 2 Much Drama should consult the nearest record store's clearance bin.) Nevertheless, the L.A. Laker and NBA All-Star thinks his upcoming album, Visions, will be different. "If I heard a basketball player rhyming, I'd be suspicious too," says Bryant. "But I think I'll get people's respect as time goes on." Bryant's first single, K.O.B.E.--a duet with fellow musical novice Tyra Banks--is receiving radio airplay and is heard during Laker home games, though it has yet to gain favor with coach Phil Jackson. "If it doesn't have any head banging in it," says Kobe, "Phil's not interested."