What's yellow and red and scary all over?

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Because the streets of New York City have been made safe for unattended babies, its sidewalks clean enough to eat from, its air as pure as the Rocky Mountains, its power grid a shining example of reliable technology on even the hottest summer days, Mayor Michael Bloomberg took some time out of his obviously free schedule to declare Tuesday, Aug. 8 "Pokemon Day in New York City." (And you too can have your own day declared-as soon as you do something heroic or, like Pokemon, rake in $25 billion in retail sales worldwide.)

The highlights of the Pokemon Party of the Decade in Bryant Park included the Pikachu Thanksgiving Day balloon, the Pokemon National Video Game Championship and a two-hour line for fans to download Pokemon video-game characters.

Oh, and a very special guest appearance by none other than Hulk Hogan. Yes, that Hulk Hogan.

"The reason he's here," said Pokemon USA VP-Marketing Bruce Loeb, "is he's a champion who knows what it's like to work hard, to train hard, to try and be the best, and really to have friendly competition and really strive to be the top." (Never mind his evil days in the WCW's New World Order or his role as Thunderlips in "Rocky III" when he slapped Rocky around.)

The Hulkster, who first learned of the Pokemon craze through his children, said his current favorite is Pikachu. "After seeing Pikachu represent the red and yellow colors so well that I wear in the wrestling ring, I think Pikachu's my favorite character."

And the video-game tournament? Minh Ba Le, 22, won in the 13-and-older category, while Samin Syed, 13, won in the 12-and-under category. (When asked his age, he explained he qualified for the match at age 12.) The reward is a trip to Tokyo for four (and a chance to tell your parents that wasting all that time on video games did amount to something, after all).

Weathering the weather

Adages had the chance to sit down to breakfast last week with representatives from the Weather Channel (chance of bacon: 100%). Meteorologists Stephanie Abrams and Mike Bettes were in Manhattan promoting their upcoming prime-time show "Beyond the Forecast." The idea for the show is to cover the latest weather stories live and on-location in an "off-the-cuff style." We're not quite sure how one can joke about severe weather. ... Actually, we know exactly how to go about that but are typically restrained by more prudent editors. At any rate, it's part of the network's attempt to push personality-driven programs so as to garner viewers when natural disaster isn't imminent. Abrams and Bettes (who, by the way, eats like a one-man football team) certainly aren't lacking for personality and struck us as exactly the sort of people who'd go stand on the beach during a hurricane (yes, we're jealous). The show, though, doesn't launch until Sept. 25 (they're still working on the set, the theme music and, yes, the ringtone). Until then Adages will have to make do with the story Abrams told us about our favorite storm chaser, Jim "The Can Man" Cantore, and hope we'll one day be invited to dine in the Weather Channel cafeteria, aptly named The Front.

Love nibbles

Ah, love. It is in the air. It makes the world go around. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Papa Adages always liked to remind us that love wasn't just a walk in the park; it was like work: "You have to at least make an appearance and pretend to care for a few hours five days a week." But not everyone is so cynical (and so chronically out of work) as Papa Adages. Take the recent winners in Tango magazine's "Love Bytes" contest, in which media people were invited to submit their own takes on the subject. The winner was Jack Hanrahan, U.S. print director, OMD, who wrote: "Love is when two people can gaze into each other's eyes and both are looking up at the other." Kristyn Barrons, assistant media planner, GM Planworks, snagged an honorable mention with, "Just because he doesn't love you the way you want him to doesn't mean he doesn't love you with all he has." (We'll call that one the Lazy Man's Pass!) Also getting an honorable mention was Bill Nightingale, chairman, Cason Nightingale, with: "Be sure she loves you for the same reasons you love yourself."

Contributing: Willow Duttge Send mash notes to kwheaton@crain.com
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