1 Those who endured the 227-minute Oscar telecast - 33 minutes longer than Titanic and about as waterlogged - might find this a sobering thought: pre-show and post-show programming included, Monday night offered American viewers no less than nine non-stop hours of Oscar coverage. Much of it was on the E! channel, where Joan Rivers kicked off the evening by accosting arriving celebrities (next year, she might want to try a little something called research - it's not nice to ask non-nominees it they have their acceptance speeches ready). Flicking through the numerous pre-shows, I came upon the following highlights - James Cameron defending Titanic's much-ridiculed dialogue as historically accurate (experts have said so, apparently); Dustin Hoffman raving, "I haven't been this excited since I had a premature ejaculation on my 59th birthday"; Minnie Driver complaining that designers were trying to bribe her stylist; Marlee Matlin supposedly calling Joan Rivers a bitch in sign language; and Linda Hamilton (Mrs James Cameron) lovingly referring to her husband as "a jerk". The most revolting moment of the evening came during Barbara Walters's annual pre-Oscar hour of soft-focus ego-stroking. Her interview with Kim Basinger featured the following exchange - Barbara: "Now that shy little girl who couldn't raise her hand in class is nominated for an Academy Award." Kim: "Dreams really do come true, Barbara." But the most disturbing moment came in a post-show interview with Cameron (currently appearing in a Milk ad with the tag line: "I Like to Float Big Chunks of Ice in It") when he revealed that a director's cut of Titanic is forthcoming.

1 Country superstar Garth Brooks and gangsta rapper Warren G have settled their legal dispute over ... the letter "g". The rapper, whose logo includes a lowercase "g", filed a trademark infringement suit against Brooks, who uses a circled, lowercase "g" on his album sleeves; Brooks countersued. It gets more surreal. Last week, after arriving at an unspecified agreement, Brooks issued a statement, claiming he now understood how "the letter 'g' ... symbolises kids and young people who have risen above drugs and violence and who are worthy of respect ... Knowing how much the symbol 'g' means to Warren, I will strive to reach the standard that the 'g' represents to him and to his community." It's still unclear if Kenny G and Gina G will be allowed to hang on to their consonants.