IS 50 CENT saying that boxing great Floyd Mayweather has taken too many punches to the head, or is he merely trying to rope a dope?

Cursing the bucket of ice he had ready for the ALS Challenge and dumping it off his balcony, 50 Cent, according to E! News, instead challenged Mayweather to his own "ELS Challenge."

"This is a special ASL-ELS challenge for you, Floyd," Mr. Cent said, with another dose of profanity. "If you can read one full page of a Harry Potter book . . . I'll give $750,000 to whatever charitable organization you want to."

If that's your challenge, 50, it's the "ESL" (English as a Second Language) Challenge, not the "ELS" Challenge. But, hey, it's all good.

Via Instagram, 50 repeated his challenge (this time getting ESL right but "accept" wrong): "Floyd will you except my ALS/ESL CHALLENGE: I will donate $750k to a charity of your choice, If you can read a full page out of a Harry Potter book out loud without starting and stopping or f---ing up. lmao."

Them sure sounds like fighting words.

Uh-oh, another split?

The New York Post's Page Six reports that Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon are living apart and heading for a divorce.

Post sources say Mariah hired security to keep Nick away from other women when he hosted pool parties in Las Vegas earlier this year.

"He's been living out of hotels," the source says. "They're fighting a lot."

Their reps remain conspicuously silent.

The meaning of life

The big news out of Williamsport this week is Little League, and while the World Series has once again brought people of all colors, sexes, shapes, sizes and nationalities together, the South Williamsport Area School District is going in the opposite direction.

A few weeks ago we mentioned that South Williamsport's high school had canceled its production of "Spamalot," due to gay issues.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Stamm and principal Jesse Smith denied that such issues were the reason.

But our wise, theatrical friend Howard Sherman, who previously championed a canceled high-school performance of "Rent," in Connecticut, didn't buy the denial and dug deeper.

At, he cites emails from Smith, available thanks to Pennsylvania's Right to Know Law, which clearly state that the principal was concerned with the show being "risque" and "controversial" and, egads, its "homosexual themes."

"I don't want families to be afraid of bringing small kids because of the content," he wrote.

A few thoughts:

1) This isn't "Frozen." Small children no more belong at "Spamalot" than they belong at "West Side Story" or "Oklahoma." If you want to entertain small kids, how about "South Williamsport High School presents "The Wiggles"?

2) The primary purpose of high-school theater is not to entertain the most closed-minded in the community, but to offer up lessons and experience to students. Here, the administrators in power took a stand based on what they wrongheadedly believed was in the best interests of their community, but then didn't have the courage to stand by that stance. Instead, they chose to lie about their reasons. (The principal did not stand by his principles.) Maybe South Williamsport High should offer an ethics class.

3) We're going to go out on a limb here and guess that some students in the theater department may be gay, or may one day figure out that they're gay. What's the lesson those students and their classmates are learning?

4) It's Monty Python, the British comedy troupe that brought us the Ministry of Silly Walks and "The Lumberjack Song" and consistently bursts the bubble of prurience and pomposity. Seems like in South Williamsport, "Spamalot" has come to exactly the right place.


* "Dancing With the Stars" says that two-time champion Julianne Hough is returning to the ballroom as a judge this season. She will preside alongside Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli.

After serving as a company dancer-choreographer, Hough left the show in 2009 to focus on acting and music. Her films include "Safe Haven," "Paradise," "Rock of Ages" and the remake of "Footloose."

That at least explains why she's returning.

Matthew McConaughey, who starred in "The Lincoln Lawyer," directed by local guy Brad Furman, is the new spokesman for Ford's luxury Lincoln brand.

Lincoln says McConaughey will appear in a series of TV and digital ads featuring Lincoln's new small SUV, the MKC.

The actor said in a statement that he is a longtime admirer of Lincoln.

If that's the criteria, maybe they should have gotten historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.

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