Sharon Stone's lost appearance

AND NOW, the answer to the question the world is asking: What was Sharon Stone like in high school? Pretty much a nerd, and not all that pretty, she would have you believe.

''When I was 15,'' Ms Stone said, ''I went to college half a day while I went to high school, and I tutored algebra to other kids in my high school.''

"I was like, you know, that weird girl,'' the actress continued. ''I cannot believe I did not know that I was a pretty girl. I was so insecure and so intimidated and so introverted.''

Nice try, Sharon.

A college friend of Flat Earth's was Miss Pennsylvania 1976 (and a Miss America semi-finalist). Among the other contestants back then, among (how can we put this tactfully?) the losers, was an ambitious teenager wearing a ''Miss Crawford County'' sash. That 17-year-old blonde from ''a hick town'' near the Ohio border? Miss Sharon Stone.

Although she didn't become Miss Pennsylvania, Sharon, now 37, did pretty well later in life and could win the best actress Oscar for her role in Casino. She doesn't get back to Saegertown, Crawford County, much - and certainly not for a high school reunion with her former algebra pupils. ''I don't get to be one of the gang at an event like that,'' she has lamented. ''I feel like an ostrich in a trailer park.''

And our friend Marie, the contest winner? She owns a restaurant and delicatessen in New Jersey and is known locally as ''the Deli Queen''. She's happy for Sharon. ''Here's a girl who went after her dream. I admire people like that.'' Jealous? ''Not in a million years,'' says Marie. ''She can be the Queen of Hollywood; I'll take being the Deli Queen any day.''

Shedding stones

WHEN Jacques Chirac announced the end of French nuclear testing in the Pacific, a huge weight was lifted from the shoulders of King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV of Tonga and his people. Further weight is now being lifted from their hips and thighs.

The King, who once reputedly weighed 440lb, discovered the benefits of regular exercise and lower-calorie foods a few years back, and has lost 154lb. So, like all monarchs, he wants his 100,000 subjects to follow his example. TT the Fourth sponsored a national weight-loss competition that began last August. By the time it ended, and the grand prize - a holiday in New Zealand - was awarded, 400 people were still adhering to the regime, power-walking and doing aerobics workouts.

Another TT, Tavita Tu'akoi, was the lucky winner. He lost 55lb after giving up the fatty mutton, corned beef and sweets so dear (and so dangerous) to the islanders' hearts.

Spurning Bridges

ANYONE still in doubt that the Republican presidential candidates in the US are an out-of-touch and unromantic lot need look no further than their campaigning before the recent Iowa caucuses.

While thundering their policies and boasting of their brilliance throughout the farm state, the candidates all managed to avoid Winterset. None of the nine Republicans appeared to know that tens of thousands of visitors now descend on the town of 4,300 souls, and the rolling countryside around it, in search of covered bridges, a shy farm wife, a been-there-done-that photographer in a pickup truck, and lost love. Messrs Dole, Buchanan, Forbes and company may have studied their briefing papers, but they seem not to have read The Bridges of Madison County.

Bob Dole's wife, Elizabeth, did turn up once, though, and visited Winterset's No 1 non-fictional attraction: the little white house where Marion Morrison was born 89 years ago. Who? John Wayne, a man who was known for his conservative views.

In the real-life Madison County, Democrats now outnumber Republicans, so Robert James Waller's best-selling novel of adulterous love is set deep in Bill Clinton territory.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas