Forward thinking

An entirely subjective look at the week ahead

Published October 31, 2005

NOW THAT'S SCARY: What could bring Bobby "Boris" Pickett, singer of the 1962 Halloween novelty hit The Monster Mash, back to life? Global warming. Pickett, 65, has recorded a new version of the song, Climate Mash, in collaboration with environmental organization Clear the Air. In a news release, Pickett says Congress and the Bush administration are reacting to the problem like "a bunch of zombies, just sleepwalking through it." To hear the new version, complete with flash animated cartoon, go to www.climatemash.org

GLORY DAYS: Just can't wait for Bruce Springsteen's concert at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa on Friday? Starting Tuesday, hard-core Bruce fans can plug into E Street Radio, an all-Springsteen station on Sirius satellite radio. The temporary station, keyed to the Nov. 15 release of the 30th anniversary edition of Born to Run, will air through Jan. 31, featuring rare tracks, album discussions and interviews with Springsteen, E Street Band members and others.

ROYAL TOURISTS: Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall - that's makeover success Camilla - arrive in New York Tuesday for their first official tour of the colonies as a couple. After laying a wreath at ground zero, they'll head to Washington Wednesday for three days of statesmanlike stuff like a White House dinner and visit to the National Institutes of Health. Their weekend in San Francisco sounds like more fun: Charles will speak on environmental issues and visit organic farmers, then he and his bride take in a performance of Beach Blanket Babylon.

SOME NERVE: Sentencing is scheduled Friday for Jennifer Porter, the former teacher who pleaded guilty in the 2004 hit-and-run deaths in Tampa of Bryant Wilkins, 13, and his 3-year-old brother, Durontae Caldwell (two of their siblings were seriously injured). The charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving death could mean up to 15 years in prison, but Porter's plea agreement guarantees her no more than three, and her attorney plans to ask for no jail time.

SEND YELLOW ROSES: Several well-known natives of Texas celebrate birthdays this week. Newsman Dan Rather turns 74 today. Long, tall Lyle Lovett will be 48 on Tuesday (just before he plays Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater Thursday night). On Friday, first lady Laura Bush will be 59, and actor Matthew McConaughey turns 36.