Good week for:
Silver linings, after Starbucks—reacting to a 10 percent sales slump for its pricey coffee confections—started serving recession-friendly value meals, such as oatmeal and a tall latte for $3.95.
Either R. Sathis Raj or Sabarish Raj, Malaysian identical twins who were freed by a judge in a death-penalty case because police were unable to say which of the brothers had been caught trafficking drugs. “I can’t be sending the wrong person to the gallows,” said Judge Zaharah Ibrahim.
Guys who go to Star Trek conventions, after two Chicago women launched a niche dating service called Nerds at Heart. “The people are better looking than you’d expect,” says co-founder Bathsheba Birman.
Bad week for:
The Kremlin, after a 13-year-old Russian girl wrote to President Dmitri Medvedev to ask for a pet guinea pig, and was forced by officials to apologize for wasting the president’s time. After newspapers reported the incident, Medvedev sent over two guinea pigs.
Mindfulness, after the Dalai Lama opened a Twitter account, allowing him and his staff to send a constant stream of 140-character messages to followers.
Daniel Bennett, a British doctoral student, who was heartbroken when janitors at Leeds University threw away a 77-pound bag of lizard dung he’d collected over seven years. “To some people it might have been just a bag of lizard s--t,” Bennett said, “but its loss altered the course of my life forever.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Here comes the Pentagon's newest space plane
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How foreign aid screwed up Liberia's ability to fight Ebola
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- This week I learned the surprisingly dark origins of the Nobel Prize, and more
- Extreme haunted houses: Inside Halloween's most terrifying new trend
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