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EXTRA!, April 29

Saturday, April 29, 2006

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OUR SUPERSTAR

Today's spelling word: typecast.

Rocky Mountain News staff writer and 1979 National Spelling Bee champ Katie Kerwin McCrimmon has a cameo in the new film Akeelah and the Bee.

Katie plays herself as a color commentator for ESPN at the National Spelling Bee. She's on screen briefly and does commentary behind the scenes at the end of the movie.

When a 13-year-old Katie won the National Spelling Bee, spelling was not such a hot topic.

Today, a Broadway play about a spelling bee is running across the country. And Akeelah follows The Bee Season, another spelling-themed movie that came out last year.

Katie also appeared briefly in the documentary Spellbound, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2002.

• Bob Denerstein's review of Akeelah, which was published in Friday's editions, is also available at RockyMountainNews.com.

WHAT ARE THE ODDS?

If one thing doesn't get you in the end, another will.

But the odds are in your favor that it won't be mad cow disease, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns announced Friday.

• 1 in 1 million: The chances of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease cases, in the United States.

Extra! was curious how those odds stack up. Here are some of the odds calculated by the National Safety Council for its report, "What are the odds of dying?" compiled for all us media types who just can't let it be.*

• 1 in 5,953: Odds of dying in any kind of transportation accident.

1 in 17,625: Odds if you're in a car.

1 in 440,951: It's true, the odds of dying in a plane crash are not as high as in a car.

• 1 in 83,534: Odds of drowning.

• 1 in 16,407: Odds of overdosing.

*Odds are calculated for 2002, the latest year data was available.

THEY SAID IT

"They're already talking about things they'd like to put together for next year."

Jen Rinaldi, the South High School teacher accompanying the Denver Youth Slam Team of young poets in New York City

• Update: Last week, the News wrote about the team's preparations to compete in the national youth slam contest earlier this week. On Friday, Rinaldi said the team performed well in early rounds but was not one of the eight teams to advance to the semifinals. One member, Elle Stephens, 18, scored a 29.9 out of a possible 30. Team members are watching the national finals tonight at the famed Apollo Theater.

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