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Q&A: Firth wasn't part of 'Days of Our Lives' cast

Colin Firth and his wife, Livia Giuggioli, have two children and live in Italy and England.

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Colin Firth and his wife, Livia Giuggioli, have two children and live in Italy and England.

Firth not part of 'Days' cast

Did Colin Firth (Mamma Mia!) play in Days of Our Lives many years ago? I think the character associated with him was named Caliope. He just looks familiar.

There is no mention of Colin Firth in the Days of Our Lives all-time cast list, nor of any such appearances in Firth's work history. There was a character named Calliope on that soap opera, but it was a female role.

So it appears that the answer is no.

Firth, 48, was born in England and is a familiar face because of his frequent film appearances. He first came to the attention of Americans for his role in the BBC serial, Pride and Prejudice, in which he played Fitzwilliam Darcy. It appeared in 1996 on the A&E network.

His film credits include The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love, Bridget Jones' Diary, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, What a Girl Wants, Nanny McPhee, Love Actually and, most recently, Mamma Mia! as one of the three potential fathers of the bride-to-be.

Firth is married to Italian film director Livia Giuggioli. They live in England and Italy with their two sons, and Firth also has a son with actor Meg Tilly; he lives in Los Angeles.

Noise issues slow 'Jake Brakes'

I have seen signs on some highways that say "No Jake Brakes." What exactly are Jake Brakes?

A Jake Brake is an "engine retarder," a device that helps large diesel vehicles slow down with little use of conventional brakes. The power of the engine is harnessed to help slow down instead of speeding up.

Though these devices are made by more than one company, products made by what is now Jacobs Vehicle Systems were the first, in 1961, and are the best-known. "Jake Brake" is a registered trademark of the company.

Some communities have outlawed the use of such brakes because of noise complaints. Jacobs maintains that properly installed and maintained retarders meet federal noise requirements. For more info, go to

Peak is end of ocean warming

When is the peak of the hurricane season?

Sept. 10 is widely recognized as the peak day in the peak month for the Atlantic hurricane season.

Why? NASA oceanographer Bill Patzert at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., provided the answer on a NASA Web site: "Hurricanes are fueled by warm ocean temperatures and September is the end of the Northern Hemisphere ocean warming season."

August is the next busiest month, then October. Between 1851 and this year so far, there were 1,382 named storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic, and 1,100 of those formed in August, September or October. That's almost 80 percent of all storms.

Q&A: Firth wasn't part of 'Days of Our Lives' cast 09/15/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 16, 2008 2:22pm]
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