Feature

Good Week, Bad Week

What happened this week that's good...and what wasn't.

Bad Hair

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Andrew Reale

Cause he the real deal, yo! Cause he the real deal, yo!Cause he the real deal, yo!Cause he the real deal, yo!

Gene Newman

Cause he not the real deal, yo! Cause he not the real deal, yo!Cause he not the real deal, yo!Cause he not the real deal, yo!

Congressional privilege

when Rep. Sanford Bishop (D–Ga.) confronted a long line for an airplane bathroom and demanded that flight attendants give him a paper cup.

Bizarre political pronouncements

as Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura announced he will not seek re-election, reducing America’s inventory of wrestling, sports-announcing governers by 100 percent.

Congressional privilege

When Rep. Sanford Bishop (D'“Ga.) confronted a long line for an airplane bathroom and demanded that flight attendants give him a paper cup.

Bizarre political pronouncements

As Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura announced he will not seek re-election, reducing America's inventory of wrestling, sports-announcing governers by 100 percent.

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Rough justice

when Oswaldo Martinez, a 28-year-old Panamanian accused of murder, attempted to escape from prison.

Polish jokes

as Poles finished first among all Europeans in a test of history and current events sponsored by Reader’s Digest.

Open government

as authorities in Tijuana installed Internet-connected video camera in police stations and jails to prove to viewers across the world that Mexican cops no longer take bribes or torture prisoners.

Foresight

as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays had to postpone Jason Tyner Bobblehead Day after honoree Jason Tyner, batting .214, was sent to the minors.

Italian women

after an inventor unveiled a microchip-equipped line of panties that sound a loud alarm when the wearer’s bottom is pinched.

National security

when parts for U.S. spy planes and other classified equipment turned up on eBay.

Cutthroat capitalism

after an Italian prostitute was arrested for charging customers too little.

Extravagance

after a Montana cowboy tried to rescind a $2,000 tip he left for a waitress on an $11 tab.

Cutthroat capitalism

after an Italian prostitute was arrested for charging customers too little.

Extravagance

after a Montana cowboy tried to rescind a $2,000 tip he left for a waitress on an $11 tab.

Chicken pluckers

whose repetitive-stress injuries may heal now that a new breed of featherless poultry is headed for the market.

Tough guys

after a Montana man brandished a pistol in a bar fight, then shot himself in the privates while stuffing the gun into his waistband.

Sacking and pillaging

now that Mongolians are rehabilitating the reputation of Genghis Khan.

Little boys

when six 10-year-olds were yanked off a Colorado playground and sent to detention for playing “army and aliens,” using their fingers as make-believe guns.

Living large

now that plus-size aerobics instructor Jennifer Portnick of San Francisco has persuaded Jazzercize, Inc. to drop its requirement that instructors look fit.

Divas

after Mariah Carey was voted the pop star people most wanted to kick off the planet.

Bargain hunters

now that Linda Lay, wife of ex-Enron chief Ken Lay, is opening a Houston boutique called Jus’ Stuff, where she plans to sell the family’s heirlooms to raise some cash.

Hair rage

now that a jury has convicted Paul Peyton III of assault. Peyton tried to ram his truck into the Idaho salon Fantastic Sam’s after complaining he had received a bad haircut.

Method acting

now that tean actor Robert Iler of The Sopranos has admitted to participating in a mugging that netted $41. Iler, who had pot in his pocket when cops arrested him, escaped jail time with his belated confession.

Hoss and Little Joe

now that a boyhood neighbor of Osama bin Laden’s has revealed that the terrorist was a big fan of the TV show Bonanza. “That was one of the favorites,” Dr. Khaled Batarfi told a Saudi newspaper.

Old bones

when a 90-year-old Scottish woman completed the 26.2-mile London Marathon. Jenny Wood Allen finished in 11 hours and 34 minutes. Two friends crossed the line behind her, so she wouldn’t come in last.

Brazil

after The Simpsons visited Rio de Janiero and found it overrun with monkeys, rats, and bisexual men. Local tourism officials threatened to sue, and the cartoon show’s producers apologized.

Paper money

now that the U.S. Mint has announced it will stop mass-producing the Sacagawea coin. Few people chose to use the gold-colored dollar, and production dropped from 1 billion to 90 million in 2001. A small number will still be minted, primarily for collecters.

Your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren

who might suffer the same fate as the dinosaurs. Astronomers have spotted a half-mile-wide space rock headed toward Earth. It won’t get here for 878 years, but could make a 10-mile-wide crater, create immense tidal waves, and change the planet’s weather.

Raggedy Ann

after the rag doll beat out G.I. Joe and 90 other contenders to be inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Raggedy Ann joined Hall of Famers Mr. Potato Head, the Hula Hoop, the Slinky, and Silly Putty.

The French

whose famously fearless ancestors, the Gauls, never existed, according to historian Christian Goudineau. Conquering Romans makde up stories about warlike Gauls–still a source of French national pride–to impress the folks back home, Gordineau claims in a new book, Par Toutatis

The underdog

after a 2-year-old dachshund named Ava survived a scrape with a bald eagle in Maine. The massive bird snatched the 12-pound dog off the ground and carried it 300 feet before dropping it. Ava has had two operations and is expected to fully recover.

The Grizzly Adams look

after a poll showed that six out of 10 Americans think former vice president Al Gore looks better without a beard.

Planet Earth

which narrowly missed being walloped by a 70-yard-long asteroid packing the energy of a 4-megaton nuclear bomb. Astronomers didn’t see it coming until just before it passed 288,000 miles from the planet—1.2 times the distance from the Earth to the moon—because it came from the direction of the sun.

Penguins

after a block of ice the size of Rhode Island broke off the floating ice fringe of Antarctica. Scientists say temperatures in the area have risen 4.5 degrees in five decades, rapidly melting a frozen shelf that’s lasted 12,000 years.

Necrophilia

after the Colorado town of Nederland attracted more than 400 visitors for a two-day festival honoring a cryogenically frozen man. The man, who died in 1989, is packed in dry ice and stored in a shed. The name of the festival: “Frozen Dead Guy Days.”

Peace

after a fight broke out as Texas high school students watched a play called Stop the Violence. The play was halted when one boy in the audience punched another in the face, and as students spilled into the hall, a brawl ensued.

Class envy

after the stock market’s woes bumped 83 wealthy people off the list of the world’s billionaires. Thanks to the recession, Forbes magazine reported, only 497 billionaires are left.

Liars

after voters rejected Rep. Gary Condit’s attempt to continue his political career. Condit was trounced in the Democratic primary, then prompty blamed the press. “sI’ve tried to be dignified,” he said, “but you guys have pretty much taken the hide off my career.”

Pessimists

now that the Doomsday Clock on the move again. For the first time in four years, the board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the hands of the symbolic timepiece forward two minutes, to 11:53 p.m. The scientists said terrorism and the threat of further war had raised the risk of global annihilation.

White lies

when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced the Pentagon was closing it Office of Strategic Information. The office was established after Sept. 11 to build support for U.S. policy abroad, but became the target of ridicule after news leaks revealed secret plans to spread false information.

Numerologists

who experienced a minute of extreme joy at 8:02 p.m. on Feb. 20. For the first time in nearly 900 years, time stood in perfect symmetry. The hour, on the military clock, was 20:02. The date, the 20th day of month 02. The year, 2002. The last such moment came at 11:11 a.m. on the 11th of November, 1111.

Karaoke

after a Filipino man reportedly shot another man dead for jeering an off-key rendition of “My Way” in a Manila karaoke bar.

Chicken fat

now that the University of Georgia has found a way to hear classrooms by burning it. The fat produces about 90 percent of the heat derived from the more expensive traditional fuels. So far the university has reported no odor-related complaints.

Osama bin Laden

after the Minnesota state legislature introduced a bill that would put the terrorist’s image on a scratch-off lottery ticket. Players would discover their winnings by scratching off—“and thus obliterating,” as the bill puts it—bin Laden’s face.

Mr. Potato Head

who just turned 50. The Hasbro toy company, which has sold 50 million of the toys since 1952, threw him a birthday party. Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head will mark their golden wedding anniversary next year.

Heroes

after a man tried to wake sleeping relatives to tell them their garage was on fire, but was mistaken for a burglar and beaten with an aluminum baseball bat. Joe Leavitt was taked to a Florence, Ala. hospital for bruises and a cut on his head.

Regularity

now that prune burgers, a blend of beef and prune puree, have passed a taste test in government kitchens. The Agricultural Department, which buys excess produce to boost farm prices, floats innovative recipes to schools in the hopes that they’ll use the surplus goods. Broccoli gaucamole did not pass the test.

Althletic excellence

after the Salt Lake Organizing Committee stocked up on 12,000 condoms for athletes arriving for the Winter Olympic Games.

Bravery

after a 19-year-old Pennsylvania woman foiled a carjacker by crashing her car into a tree. The man hopped into the woman’s vehicle at a car wash, ordering her to drive off. The woman, “afraid for her life,” stepped on the gas and hoped for the best. She suffered only bruises, and the carjacker ran away.

Air travel

after a traveler spent two hours stuck to a toilet seat on a transatlantic flight. An American passenger on the Scandinavian airline SAS was still on the toilet when she pushed the flush button and was sealed in place by the toilet’s powerful vacuum. The flight crew couldn’t pull her free, leaving the woman fastened to the john until the plane landed.

Immortality

as an Elvis Presley song, “A Little Less Conversation,” updated by DJ Junkie XL, reached the top of the charts.

Canadian self-respect

after a new study showed that well-educated Canadians are emigrating to America at record rates.

Immortality

as an Elvis Presley song, “A Little Less Conversation,” updated by DJ Junkie XL, reached the top of the charts.

Canadian self-respect

after a new study showed that well-educated Canadians are emigrating to America at record rates.

Smut

after Yahoo! became the first top-tier Internet company to embrace the porn industry, opening an online store stocked with thousands of hardcore videos and DVDs.

Hungry New Yorkers

after a homeless man was arrested for allegedly spraying sample of his own urine and feces onto open food trays in a dozen Manhattan delis.

Australian beer drinkers

after a delivery truck hauling 24,000 bottles of beer plunged into a river near Sydney. Nearby residents have been treating the river as a huge outdoor cooler, as they periodically dive in for a cold brew.

Soft drinks

after Native American groups in Alaska declared a campaign to “Stop the pop.” The Alaska native Tribal Healthy Consortium blames soda drinking for increasing obesity and tooth decay among Native American kids.

Tube rides

after the London Underground decided to try perfuming a few of the smellier, more crowded subway stops to perk up commuters. The Underground calls the scent a “rich, rosy, jasmine bouquet.”

Chappaquiddick

which is no longer receiving Federal Express packages. Fed Ex officials said the tiny Massachusetts island off Martha’s Vineyard has bumpy, unsafe roads.

Elevator sex

which is no longer punishable under Italy’s laws against public obscenity. The Italian parliament declared that once the doors close, the elevator becomes a private space.

Jenna Bush

daughter of George W., who was cited by police for underage drinking at an Austin bar. Jenna, 19, is a first-year student at the University of Texas.

Soccer players

after a study concluded that heading a soccer ball does not cause brain damage. Researchers said that a player tenses the neck, which spreads the impact over the whole body and protects the brain from injury.

Moms

because millions of Mother’s Day blossoms sold in he U.S. came from Latin American plantations, some of which use dangerous pesticides illegal in the U.S.

Shacking up

after newly released census figures showed the number of unmarried couples living together nearly doubled over the last decade.

Frankenfish

after the Center for Food Safety asked the government to put a moratorium on genetically engineered fish. The group said the fish pose a threat to natural species.

Jet-setters

after British Airways announced it would resume supersonic Concorde flights by the end of the summer. The fleet has been grounded since Air France Concorde crashed last July, killing all 113 people aboard.

The Yakama Indian Nation

which got stiffed on a $32,000 bill for two rain ceremonies intended to end a Northwest drought. The Native Americans sent the bill to the Bonneville Power Administration, which has seen its hydroelectric power production squeezed by dry weather. The federal agency said it never asked for the ceremonies, which tribal leaders say worked and brought rain.

Al Sharpton’s waistline

after the ample civil rights activist went on a hunger strike to protest his three-month sentence for trespassing. Sharpton was arrested on military property during a demonstration against the U.S. Navy’s bombing range on Vieques island in Puerto Rico.

Johnnie Cochran

after a California judge reinstated a palimony suit against the former O.J. Simpson “Dream Team” lawyer. This is the second suit in five years filed by Patricia Cochran, who assumed the now-married lawyer’s name during their 18-year relationship.

Space tourists

after NASA chief Dan Goldin said the agency was considering arranging to send civilians to the International Space Station when it’s not busy. NASA was widely criticized for trying to block civilian Dennis Tito from blasting off on a Russian rocket last month.

Warren Beatty

after E! Online proclaimed his recent film Town & Country the biggest flop of all time. The sex farce disappeared from theaters after four weeks, having earned back just $6.7 million of its $85 million budget.

Gumby

who will return to television this summer after a 10-year absence. ABC plans to air spots in which the green claymation character and his sidekick, Pokey, an orange pony, will plug summer reruns.

A Canadian artist

who discovered on the Internet that one of his paintings is displayed on the cover of a novel widely believed to have been written by Saddam Hussein. Lawyers are looking into the matter for artist Jonathon Earl Bowser.

Scalpers

after one male Madonna fan agreed to go to bed with a female sex columnist for a German online magazine in return for a ticket to the pop diva’s sold-out Berlin concert. Columnist Shelley Masters chose “Aaron T.” out of the 90 men who applied.

Bill Gates

after a computer hacker claimed to have nipped the software magnate’s credit-card number from the Internet and used it to send him an order of Viagra.

Pets

after a man was found guilty of killing his dog because he thought it was gay. George Finley, of Ocala, Fla., said he struck his male poodle-Yorkshire terrier accidentally. But prosecutors said he hit it with a pipe and threw it against a tree because it tried to have sex with another family canine, a male Jack Russell.

The Georgia state flag

after a survey determined that the newly redesigned state banner, with its shrunken rebel battle emblem, is the ugliest flag in North America.

John Lennon

after Liverpool officials prepared to rename the city’s airport after the late Beatle. The airport unveiled a new logo featuring Lennon’s picture, and the facility will be officially dubbed Liverpool John Lennon Airport when a new terminal opens next year.

The Brown family

after O.J. Simpson said Nicole Brown Simpson was “stalking” him before she was mysteriously murdered. Simpson said Nicole followed him to the golf course every day in a desperate attempt to get him back.

Taxpayers

now that Cost of Government Day has passed and they have collectively earned enough this year to pay all their local, state, and federal taxes. The group Americans for Tax Reform trumpets the day—July 6 this year—as the one on which taxpayers start earning money for themselves.

‘The King’

after the Indianapolis arena where Elvis Presley gave his last performance was demolished. A member of the demolition team paused before blowing up the building, and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building.”

Guns

now that the city of Escalante, Utah is considering an ordinance requring all heads of hourseholds to own a firearm.

Prison guards

after an inmate convicted of attempted murder slipped out of a Los Angeles jail wearing an ID badge he created with a picture of movie star Eddie Murphy. Escapee Kevin Jerome Pullum bears only a slight resemblance to the famed comedian.

Lazy brown baggers

who can now make their sandwiches with pre-sliced slabs of peanut butter. An Oklahoma company is test-marketing the sandwich-ready slices, which come individually wrapped in plastic, like American cheese.

Temperance advocates

after Arkansas native Mary Thompson, the world’s oldest person, announced plans to celebrate her 119th birthday with a shot of whiskey. Her preferred drink is top-shelf Crown Royal.

Bad hair days

now that they’re the latest fashion. Hair sprays made of saltwater, kelp, and algae promise to give wearers that disheveled, sticky “beach hair” look that usually follows a day in the wind and the water.

Prepared breakfast foods

after Pop Tarts were blamed for starting a house fire. Brenda Hurff and her husband are suing the Kellogg Co., which makes the breakfast pastries, for $100,000. They say they left a cherry Pop Tart unattended in their toaster and it burst into flames, which spread through their New Jersey house.

Stargazers

who will now be able to see more celestial wonders in Calgary, Canada. Amateur astronomers complained that city lights were so bright they couldn’t see the stars, so the city council spent $5 million to install dimmer streetlight bulbs.

Multitasking

which a new study says makes people less efficient. By trying to do several things at once, we end up devoting less brain activity to each task.

Chastity

after a renegade Roman Catholic archbishop renounced his marriage to a follower of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. After meeting with officials at the Vatican, Archbishop Emmanuel Mililingo of Zambia said he would resume his priestly vows and promised the pope, “I am your humble and obedient servant.”

Peeping Toms

after two former cheerleaders sued 23 NFL teams for $75,000 each, accusing players of watching them undress through a hole in a locker room door.

Neat freaks

after the space shuttle Discovery hauled of 3,700 pounds of garbage from the International Space Station. The trash included empty food containers, clothes, and packing foam.

The Swampmaster

who wrenched his knee trying to get away from a 7-foot alligator that humped at him during his Gator Show at the Western Idaho Fair. Jeff Quattrocchi, who calls himself Swampmaster when he’s wrestling giant reptiles, had to cancel his popular show due to the injury.

Pack rats

after a collector took a dusty painting to the Antiques Roadshow, where an expert told him the piece was by N.C. Wyeth and has a value of $250,000.

Extreme Sports

after French stuntman Thierry Devaux ended up dangling helplessly from the Stature of Liberty’s torch. Devaux rode a motorize paraglider to the top of the statue in preparation for a daring bungee jump, but had to be rescued after the red chute on his flying machine got snagged.

The dead

who received $31 million last year in Social Security payments, according to an audit based on the agency’s own files.

Disneyland

which angered gun owners by eliminating the fake firing of pistols at rampaging hippos on its Jungle Cruise ride. Alan Gottleib of the Second Amendment Foundation said the company had revealed “its bias against legitimate gun ownership and legitimate gun use.”

Tattoo parlors

which have reported a surge in business as patriotic Americans adorn their limbs with images of flags and eagles.

Perfect crimes

after a would-be bank robber wearing a mask showed up at a Connecticut bank at 3:08 p.m. and began yanking on the closed doors. Michael Maslar was arrested as he sped away from the scene, after police allegedly watched him throw a mask and a menacing note out the window of his red pickup truck.

Heroes

who are being honored by kids as they select Halloween costumes. Shopkeepers report they are selling fewer scary monster getups this year because “good guy” costumes, such as police officers, firemen, doctors, and Uncle Sam, are in greater demand.

Nudity

after a family that wanted to sunbathe and swim naked together at a park near Austin, Texas, called Hippie Hollow lost a court battle. The Supreme Court told Robert and Christine Morton that their right to free speech did not entitle them to bring naked children to the nudist park, which only allows adults.

Claudia Schiffer

who made it into the 2002 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records when she became the person to have appeared on the most magazine covers.

Atheists

after the House of Representatives voted to urge public schools to display the words “God bless America” as a sign of national unity.

Law-abiding citizens

after violent crime in the U.S. fell for the ninth straight year.

Reality TV

after ABC canceled the launch of The Runner, a new program produced by actors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Network executives said the show, which was to invite viewers to hunt a person traveling across the country, was not appropriate in “today’s environment.”

Toy balloons

which carried a thrill seeker a record 11,000 feet into the air. Ian Ashpole waited until the 600 helium-filled balloons had lifted him above his previous record of 10,000 feet before taking out a knife and cutting himself free so he could parachute back to earth.

Motherhood

after the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Examiner was fired by his own mom. Florence Fang said she will take over Ted Fang’s old duties. The newspaper has lost readers since the Fang family bought it from the Hearst Corp. after Hearst purchased the San Francisco Chronicle.

G.I. Joe

now that patriotic fervor has the action figure flying off the shelves. The plastic warrior was the right best-selling action figure last year, but has now marched into fourth place.

Jason Alexander

after the former Seinfeld costar’s new sitcom was canceled. Ratings for Alexander’s show, Bob Patterson, were so low that ABC canned it before the end of its initial 13-episode run.

Political dynasties

after Chad Condit, the son of congressman Gary Condit, launched a campaign for a seat in the California state senate.

Consistency

after the ruler of Swaziland, Mswati III, chose 17-year-old Notsetselelo Magongo as his ninth wife, even though he earlier banned girls under 18 from having sex. The 33-year-old king paid a fine of one cow for his infraction.

Smut

after Yahoo! became the first top-tier Internet company to embrace the porn industry, opening an online store stocked with thousands of hardcore videos and DVDs.

Hungry New Yorkers

after a homeless man was arrested for allegedly spraying sample of his own urine and feces onto open food trays in a dozen Manhattan delis.

Palm Beach County

which auctioned its notorious Votomatic voting machines on eBay. The country sold 519 of the mothballed devices for a $177,547 profit, which will go toward the $14 million dollar bill for a new touch-screen voting system.

Smooching

after Barbara Crump, the wife of an inmate in a Connecticut prison, was convicted of putting seven packets of heroin into a balloon, popping the stash into her mouth, and passing it to her husband in a kiss.

Friskiness

after a survey by a leading condom manufacturer showed that Americans, on average, have sex more often (124 times a year), with more people (14 lifetime sex partners), than residents of any other country.

Bulls

with the opening of the annual Testicle Festival in Bloomer, Wisc. Organizers expect 300 revelers to show up for a feast of deep-fried bull testicles, also known as “prairie oysters.”

Dogs

especially plump ones, after sex kitten-turned-animal-right’s activist Brigitte Bardot chided Koreans for including man’s best friend on the national men. “Eating dog meat is like eating humans,” she said on a Korean radio show.

O.J. Simpson

whose Miami home was searched by police investigating a crime ring that allegedly sells the drug Ecstasy and counterfeit cards used to tune in to pay-per-view satellite TV shows. Simpson’s lawyer said his client, the former football star and murder suspect, is clean.

Bubble wrap

after the makers of the air-filed packing material got a rush order for 50 large rolls from the Defense Intelligence Agency. It’s just for wrapping computers, Lt. Cmdr. James Brooks told The Wall Street Journal. “There are no secret or covert uses.”

Beer runs

after inmate Mark Delude allegedly crawled under a fence, walked to a convenience store, and broke back into a Vermont minimum-security prison with a case of brew and a carton of cigarettes. The stunt could add two years to an 8-30 months sentence for minor offenses.

The Simpsons

now that a course at Michigan’s Siena Heights University will examine philosophical themes in the Fox series and other cartoons. Reading will include William Irwin’s The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D’oh! of Homer.

School pride

after the dean of Yale’s Berkeley Divinity School resigned when an audit revealed that he had used school funds to pay for his daughter’s tuition at Harvard.

Tight pants

now that the Taliban is gone and the men of Afghanistan are free to throw away their baggy, traditional clothing. Shopkeepers report a run on Western-style trousers.

Fast money

after a California teen was ordered to return $900,000 collected from 1,000 investors looking to double their money overnight. Cole A. Bartiromo, 17, allegedly ran a Web site promising “risk-free” windfalls through betting on sporting events.

Potheads

after a U.S. appeals court ruled that motorists in Idaho can drive while stoned on marijuana. Motorist Matthew Patzer, 21, was arrested when he admitted to cops that he was, indeed, high, but the court said that since he passed two sobriety tests, the cops should have sent Patzer on his way.

Land yachts

with Ford Motor Co.’s announcement that it was discontinuing the Lincoln Continental to save money.

Taxpayers

now that Cost of Government Day has passed and they have collectively earned enough this year to pay all their local, state, and federal taxes. The group Americans for Tax Reform trumpets the day'”July 6 this year'”as the one on which taxpayers start earning money for themselves.

‘The King’

after the Indianapolis arena where Elvis Presley gave his last performance was demolished. A member of the demolition team paused before blowing up the building, and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building.”

Depressed Democrats

as NBC signed Martin Sheen to reprise his role as President Bartlett on The West Wing. For another season playing the relentlessly virtuous Democrat, Sheen tripled his salary to $300,000 per episode, and secured a recurring role on the show for his daughter.

Shamu

now that the Russian government has authorized the capture of 10 live killer whales to be sold to aquariums. The Russians are offering whale hunters a million dollars for each orca hauled in.

Depressed Democrats

as NBC signed Martin Sheen to reprise his role as President Bartlett on The West Wing.

Shamu

now that the Russian government has authorized the capture of 10 live killer whales to be sold to aquariums.

No one

Fanatics who think murder solves anything

Contrition

as the Irish Republican Army issued an unprecedented apology for the killing of hundreds of noncombatants over the last 30 years.

Paranoia

as military jets scrambled to escort a New York'“bound airliner after some passengers grew alarmed by the “suspicious” note-passing and seat-changing of seven brown-skinned passengers. The suspects turned out to be members of a well-known Indian performance group who were discussing their act.

Insecurity

as the nation’s first “Homeland Security Summer Camp for Teenagers” opens in Pennsylvania. Teens will learn firefighting techniques, train in hazmat chemical-protection suits, evacuate buildings, and get certified in first aid, CPR, and terrorism response.

Being all you can be

after a government audit discovered that about 200 Army personnel used government charge cards to get $38,000 in cash that was spent on “lap dancing and other forms of entertainment” at strip clubs near military bases.

Cross-cultural experiences

as presidential daughter Jenna Bush, who at 20 is too young to drink in the U.S., was spotted splitting a $225 bottle of vodka with two friends at a nightclub in St-Tropez.

Romantic abandon

as Angelina Jolie requested that her soon-to-be ex-husband Billy Bob Thornton return five vials of her blood that she gave him as proof of her undying passion. Jolie is reportedly worried that Thornton’s mother, a psychic, will put a curse on her.

American home cooking

as 1,130 mothers from the United States captured the Guiness World Record for mass breast-feeding, far outmilking the 767 lactating Australians who had previously nursed their way into the books.

Vigilance

as security guards at Los Angeles International Airport prevented a woman who was carrying a GI Joe doll from taking his 2-inch plastic gun onto a flight. “We have instructions to confiscate anything that looks like a weapon or a replica,” said an LAX spokesman. “If GI Joe was carrying a replica then it had to be taken from him.”

The follicularly challenged

as the Mahoning Valley Scrappers minor league baseball team gave free admission to anyone wearing a bad hairpiece. The Scrappers were honoring James Traficant, the ex-congressman and racketeer, for his help in bringing the team to Ohio.

High culture

as talk-show host Jerry Springer became the subject of an opera in Edinburgh. The production features a diaper fetishist, dancing Klansmen, and a nasty shouting match between Jesus and the devil.

The follicularly challenged

as the Mahoning Valley Scrappers minor league baseball team gave free admission to anyone wearing a bad hairpiece. The Scrappers were honoring James Traficant, the ex-congressman and racketeer, for his help in bringing the team to Ohio.

High culture

as talk-show host Jerry Springer became the subject of an opera in Edinburgh. The production features a diaper fetishist, dancing Klansmen, and a nasty shouting match between Jesus and the devil.

Feeling America’s pain

as Bill Clinton re-opened negotiations for an afternoon talk show, this time with CBS. When NBC came calling, he asked for $100 million.

British ingenuity

as four teenage boys spent 27 hours trapped in a loft in London, escaping only after realizing that they needed to pull the door rather than push it.

Feeling America's pain

as Bill Clinton re-opened negotiations for an afternoon talk show, this time with CBS. When NBC came calling, he asked for $100 million.

British ingenuity

as four teenage boys spent 27 hours trapped in a loft in London, escaping only after realizing that they needed to pull the door rather than push it.

Bono, Princess Di, J.K. Rowling, Shakespeare, pop idol Robbie Williams, and three of the Beatles

who all made a list of the 100 Greatest Britons of all time, as chosen by 30,000 BBC viewers.

Milton, Wordsworth, Keats, Shelley, Wilde, Yeats, and Ringo Starr

who did not.

Superman

as Christopher Reeve, who was paralyzed seven years ago, can now move some of his fingers and toes. The actor can also feel a pin prick over most of his body and can distinguish between hot and cold, and sharp and dull sensations. Doctors said this raises the glimmer of possibility that Reeve might one day walk again.

Lunatics

when filmmaker Bart Sibrel confronted Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, and demanded that he swear on a Bible that the moon landings weren’t an elaborate government hoax. Aldrin, who’d been badgered by Sibrel before, punched him in the face.

Superman

as Christopher Reeve, who was paralyzed seven years ago, can now move some of his fingers and toes. The actor can also feel a pin prick over most of his body and can distinguish between hot and cold, and sharp and dull sensations. Doctors said this raises the glimmer of possibility that Reeve might one day walk again.

Lunatics

when filmmaker Bart Sibrel confronted Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, and demanded that he swear on a Bible that the moon landings weren't an elaborate government hoax. Aldrin, who'd been badgered by Sibrel before, punched him in the face.

Chutzpah

as members of the Rigas family, on trial for allegedly looting Adelphia Communications, have asked the now-bankrupt company to foot their legal bills.

Funny drunks

as a study by an American University sociologist showed that over the past two decades, the incidence of drinking by comic-strip characters has fallen by more than half.

Good hands

when six members of the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League caught a woman who had jumped from the sixth floor of a burning building, saving her life.

Playing on grass

as Newsday reported that at least seven members of the last-place New York Mets smoked marijuana during the season.

Good hands

when six members of the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League caught a woman who had jumped from the sixth floor of a burning building, saving her life.

Playing on grass

as Newsday reported that at least seven members of the last-place New York Mets smoked marijuana during the season.

Blondes

when it turned out that reports of their imminent demise were untrue. Some news organizations caused a brief furor with a story saying the recessive gene for blonde hair was being bred out of existence and would disappear in 200 years. It was a hoax.

Personal transformation

as the Gruner+Jahr publishing company sued Rosie O’Donnell for breach of contract in connection with the folding of the magazine Rosie. The company says it made a deal with Rose when she was “the warm, fun-loving ‘Queen of Nice,’” only to wind up with “a self-proclaimed ‘über bitch.’” It seeks $300 million in damages.

Subsidized sexuality

as Britain’s National Health Service has begun prescribing vibrators to women suffering from a lack of desire.

Sexuality of any kind

when actress Gohar Kheirandish presented Ali Zamani with an award naming him Iran’s best director, and gave him a little peck on the forehead. The pair were promptly jailed for violating laws forbidding touching between unrelated men and women.

Grumpy old men

as TV commentator Andy Rooney said that the only thing that bothered him about football on TV was “those damn women they have down on the sidelines who don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.”

Blond ambition

as Swept Away, Madonna’s new movie, directed by her husband, Guy Ritchie, was scorned by the critics and ignored by the public, earning a disastrous $375,000 on its opening weekend.

Pessimists

as two Stanford astronomers reported that the universe will collapse into itself in 10 billion to 20 billion years, “much sooner than expected.”

Underdogs

as the World Series, between two second-place teams, the San Francisco Giants and the Anaheim Angels, is on track to have the lowest television ratings in the history of the event.

Beverly Hills justice

as former studio chief Peter Guber was empaneled as a member of the jury in the Winona Ryder shoplifting trial, despite having made three of her films.

Beverly Hills alibis

after the security manager in Winona Ryder’s shoplifting trial testified that when she allegedly tried to leave the store with 20 items, including designer clothes, handbags, and accessories, she told the guard that “my director directed me to shoplift in preparation for a role I’m preparing.”

The literal-minded

after two boys who showed up for class at Oregon’s Harrisburg Middle School wearing cheerleader outfits were sent home for violating the dress code—not for wearing skirts, but because the skirts were too short.

Silly fits of pique

after the soccer team Stade Olympique l’Emyrne, from Madagascar, protested referee bias by repeatedly shooting the ball into its own net. The game ended with the score 149-0. League officials promise “severe action.”

Home, sweet home

as two-thirds of married women participating in a poll conducted by the British health magazine Top Sante said the best sex they’d ever had was with with their husbands.

Eating on the job

after a German zookeeper was caught barbecuing five Tibetan mountain chickens and two Cameroonian sheep.

7-foot-7 Sudanese hockey players

after a minor-league hockey game featuring former basketball player Manute Bol as a publicity stunt drew a record crowd.

7-foot-7 Sudanese hockey players

as Bol’s arthritic feet swelled up in his custom-made size-16 skates, preventing him from taking the ice. He retired from hockey after the game.

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French pride

as a new survey showed the French have sex more frequently than any other nation—on average, 167 times a year. The U.S., with an average of 138 acts of love per annum, finished 12th.

Everlasting love

when actor Nicholas Cage and Lisa Marie Presley announced they were divorcing 108 days after their romantic wedding in Hawaii. “We shouldn’t have been married in the first place,” said Presley, who once married Michael Jackson.

White trash

as the eBay auction of Eminem’s childhood home ended with a bid of $13 million.

Following the rules

after airport-security inspectors over the Thanksgiving weekend seized from travelers six guns; 15,982 pocket knives; 98 box cutters; 20,581 other sharp objects including scissors, ice picks and meat cleavers; 1,072 clubs or bats; 2,384 flammable items, including a welding gun; and a brick.

Wishful thinking

as two Canadian women left for Iraq, where they will serve as human shields to discourage the U.S. from bombing Baghdad.

Passion

after most European smokers said in a survey they’d find it far easier to give up sex for a month than cigarettes.

Total Information

as a San Francisco newspaper published the home phone number, tax records, and other publicly available information of John Poindexter, the head of the government’s Total Information Awareness program. A Web site followed up by posting satellite photos of Poindexter’s home.

Senators with heart conditions

when an employee of the Senate’s closed-circuit TV network pushed the wrong button, and the channel began showing a porno movie.

Total Information

as a San Francisco newspaper published the home phone number, tax records, and other publicly available information of John Poindexter, the head of the government's Total Information Awareness program. A Web site followed up by posting satellite photos of Poindexter's home.

Senators with heart conditions

when an employee of the Senate's closed-circuit TV network pushed the wrong button, and the channel began showing a porno movie.

Total Information

as a San Francisco newspaper published the home phone number, tax records, and other publicly available information of John Poindexter, the head of the government's Total Information Awareness program. A Web site followed up by posting satellite photos of Poindexter's home.

Senators with heart conditions

when an employee of the Senate's closed-circuit TV network pushed the wrong button, and the channel began showing a porno movie.

Jargon

after “weapons of mass destruction” was voted 2002’s phrase of the year by the American Dialect Society, trumping “regime change” and “blog.”

Power naps

as 23 flights were delayed when a baggage screener at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport nodded off at his post for eight minutes to half an hour, forcing a security sweep of everyone who’d already boarded a plane.

Fornication

as the Georgia Supreme Court struck down a 170-year-old law that made it a crime for unmarried people to have sex. The court overruled the conviction of Jesse McClure, a 17-year-old boy caught having sex with his girlfriend. McClure appealed after a local judge sentenced him to write an essay explaining why he shouldn’t have sex with his girlfriend; he wrote that it was none of the court’s business.

Paranoia

when a Northwest Airlines flight attendant suspected terrorism when she opened a bottle of champagne and found that it was not carbonated and smelled funny. Passengers were evacuated until police and FBI agents determined that the substance was flat champagne.

The good old days

as Afghanistan’s chief justice shut down television channels he deemed un-Islamic, and said he wanted to end the country’s brief experiment with co-education as well.

Humility

when Jesse Jackson told Phil Donahue, “No one has inspired more blacks for hope in America than I have.”

Optimism

as London police sent letters to dozens of repeat criminal offenders urging them to “make it a priority in any New Year’s resolutions you make from 2003 onwards, to cease forthwith your criminal activities.”

The sincerest form of flattery

when two California brothers allegedly told police that after killing their mother, they chopped off her head and hands because they’d seen it done on The Sopranos.

Leaving no stone unturned

when Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty cut $300 from the state marching band’s $7,000 budget, as part of his effort to close the state’s $4.56 billion deficit.

Florida bookworms

as Gov. Jeb Bush issued a proclamation declaring February Florida Library Appreciation Month, “to encourage recognition of all our Florida libraries that provide outstanding services to our communities.” A few days later, Bush announced plans to shut down the Florida State Library, lay off its staff, and transfer its one-million-item collection.

Sensitivity

when a London court awarded $22,000 to Monty Python’s John Cleese, who testified that he felt “bewildered and disoriented and to a certain extent scared” after a newspaper said he was no longer funny.

Britney Spears and Madonna

whose films easily generated the most nominations for worst picture and worst actress in the 23rd annual Razzie awards.

Weapons of individual destruction

when Smith & Wesson introduced the .50-caliber Magnum, with three times the power of Dirty Harry’s giant .44.

Frontline morale

when the Pentagon briefly proposed that the bodies of any U.S. troops killed by biological or chemical weapons in Iraq be immediately cremated and buried in mass graves.

Barefoot beachcombers

as thousands of Nike sneakers began washing up on the shores of the Pacific Northwest. Some 50,000 shoes spilled from a cargo container that capsized off California in December. “You knock the barnacles off them, and they’re quite wearable,” said oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer.

Second acts

when MSNBC canceled Phil Donahue’s attempt to revive his talk-show career after seven months. Donahue’s ratings badly trailed both Bill O’Reilly’s on Fox and Connie Chung’s on CNN.

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Common sense

as nine “human shields” from Britain left Iraq after deciding that camping out at bombing targets might get them killed. “If we had five to ten thousand people here there would never be a war,” says the protester’s spokesman. “We do not have those numbers.”

Credibility

gjwhen White House spokesman Ari Fleischer was laughed offstage for saying that the U.S. is not offering money and favors in exchange for support on Iraq. “You’re saying that the leaders of other nations are buyable. And that is not an acceptable proposition,” said Fleischer. The press room erupted into laughter, and Fleischer ended the news conference.

Common sense

as nine 'œhuman shields' from Britain left Iraq after deciding that camping out at bombing targets might get them killed. 'œIf we had five to ten thousand people here there would never be a war,' says the protester's spokesman. 'œWe do not have those numbers.'

Credibility

when White House spokesman Ari Fleischer was laughed offstage for saying that the U.S. is not offering money and favors in exchange for support on Iraq. 'œYou're saying that the leaders of other nations are buyable. And that is not an acceptable proposition,' said Fleischer. The press room erupted into laughter, and Fleischer ended the news conference.

Pointless symbolic gestures

as the cafeteria in the House of Representatives renamed French fries “freedom fries.” “If China vetoes” a U.N. resolution on Iraq, said Rep. Barney Frank, “what are we going to call Chinese checkers?”

Good Samaritans

when a Canadian woman was fired from her pizza delivery job after she stopped to help a man who was lying in the street with a gunshot wound. “She was away from her job for no good reason,” said her manager.

Prophecy

after the owner of a New City, N.Y., kosher fish market said a live carp shouted Hebrew warnings about the end of the world before it was killed. Word of the miracle landed the story on the front page of The New York Times. “Ah, enough already about the fish,” said merchant Zalmen Rosen. “I wish I never said anything about it.”

Saddam impersonators

as look-alike Jerry Haleva contemplated the end of a good career run. “As an actor, I hope he goes into exile, and my career extends,” he said. “But as an American, I hope I get to do his epitaph.”

Gall

as the French government announced that its companies wanted to play a key role in the rebuilding of Iraq.

Unfortunate coincidences

as the French’s mustard company felt compelled to issue a press release pointing out that the company was named after its founder, R.T. French. “There is nothing more American,” said the company, “than French’s mustard.”

Commercial considerations

as Madonna pulled a new video that she feared could be seen as anti-war, and Warner Bros. changed posters for the movie What a Girl Wants so that star Amanda Bynes is no longer flashing a peace sign.

Public relations

when the U.S. Army named two of its Iraqi outposts Forward Operating Base Exxon and Forward Operating Base Shell.

Free speech

when an Ohio appeals court ruled that a drunken 21-year-old man should not have been arrested for barking at a police dog.

Payback

when Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera shook hands with U.S. soldiers on camera to prove that they were not angry at him for revealing troop locations. Another reporter later said some of the disgusted soldiers had put their hands in “unmentionable places” before shaking.

Jesse Ventura’s legacy

when a masked wrestler known as the Great Sasuke won election to a Japanese prefectural assembly without ever removing his mask. “I won support from voters with this face,” said Sasuke, “and to take it off would be breaking promises.”

The fine print

as Pakistan’s foreign minister said the country did not have “any form” of weapons of mass destruction, except for nuclear bombs.

News

when a 33-year-old Syracuse, N.Y., man was charged with biting a dog. “I just got into a fight with him,” said Paul Russell. “I don’t really remember. I was pretty drunk.”

Product tie-ins

as one of Taiwan’s leading soft-drink makers worried that sales would drop for its flagship drink, a sarsaparilla soda called Sars.

Healthy living

as a licensed medical marijuana grower in Canada became the first to have his crop certified 100 percent organic. “I want people to know it’s been inspected every step of the way, from the soils to the fertilizers,” said Eric Nash.

Scoops

when Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz tried and failed to surrender to ABC News’ Diane Sawyer. When interview arrangements stalled, Aziz turned himself in to the U.S. military instead.

Staying in touch

when Microsoft announced plans for the world’s first Internet-equipped Porta Potti. The iLoo, available this summer at British music festivals, will allow people to surf the Web while on the john.

Opportunists

when a 40-year-old British father stumbled across two copies of the fiercely anticipated new Harry Potter novel lying in a public field. Though the top-secret copies could have sold for thousands of dollars, the man gave them to a newspaper, which returned them, unread, to the publisher.

Hydrox

when a San Francisco lawyer sued Kraft Foods to bar the sale of Oreos to minors because the cookies contain trans-fatty acids, which cause heart disease. “Tobacco is well-known as an unsafe product,” said lawyer Stephen Joseph. “Trans fat is not the same thing at all. Very few people know about it.”

Economic stimulus

as employees at Omaha’s Airlite Plastics were told that they would not be paid for the day that President Bush used the plant for a speech on his economic-recovery plan. “I think the overwhelming majority of our employees are just very excited about seeing the president,” said CEO Brad Crosby.

Parental creativity

when a Chinese couple named their son Saddam Sars to mark the most significant events taking place at the time of his birth in March.

Parental creativity

as Jacob and Emily topped an annual list of the most popular American names for the fourth year in a row. In a bid to be different, more than 246 parents named their daughters Unique.

Letting bygones be bygones

when a Brazilian man forgave his wife after she cut off his penis. The woman laced her husband’s juice with a sedative and sliced off the organ because he had asked for a divorce. “She was stressed and I understand her reasons,” said the man. The penis was reattached.

Judicial restraint

when a Tarrytown, N.Y., judge asked a Lebanese-American woman who came to court to appeal two parking tickets if she was a terrorist. Judge William Crosbie later allowed that his remarks “may have been inappropriate.”

Standing by your man

as excerpts from Hillary Clinton’s memoir were leaked to the press. In them, Clinton writes that she “could hardly breathe,” when Bill Clinton came clean about Monica Lewinsky. “I wanted to wring Bill’s neck.”

Copycats

when a writer noticed that an article about plagiarism in Syllabus magazine contained passages lifted directly from an article he’d already published elsewhere. “The irony was just so much,” said the original author.

Street cred

after the Oxford English Dictionary published a new edition with 6,000 new words and phrases, including “bling-bling,” a hip-hop term defined as, “(The wearing of) expensive designer clothing and flashy jewelry.”

AOL

after a survey found that four out of every five children regularly receive spam e-mail touting sweepstakes, dating services, loan programs, and pornography.

Weejuns on rye

after CNN’s Tucker Carlson was reminded that he had dismissed Hillary Clinton’s memoirs by saying, “If they make $8 million on that book, I will eat my shoes.” The publisher recouped its $8 million advance in just the first week, with record-breaking sales of 600,000 copies.

Gullible dictators

when Fidel Castro was fooled by a prank call from a Miami morning deejay posing as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. After being told, “You fell for it,” Castro replied, “What did I fall for, you [expletive]? What did I fall for, bastard?”

Learning on the job

as U.S. authorities discovered that the acronym of the reconstituted Iraqi army, the New Iraqi Corps, is an Arabic slang word for fornication. The name has been changed to the New Iraqi Army.

Raising educational standards

after 63 percent of high school students flunked New York state’s math exam. State officials decided to invalidate the test, rather than deny diplomas to tens of thousands of graduating seniors. “I think we made some mistakes with this exam,” said Education Commissioner Richard Mills.

Learning on the job

as U.S. authorities discovered that the acronym of the reconstituted Iraqi army, the New Iraqi Corps, is an Arabic slang word for fornication. The name has been changed to the New Iraqi Army.

Raising educational standards

after 63 percent of high school students flunked New York state’s math exam. State officials decided to invalidate the test, rather than deny diplomas to tens of thousands of graduating seniors. “I think we made some mistakes with this exam,” said Education Commissioner Richard Mills.

The American Broadcasting Company

when Canadian-born anchorman Peter Jennings finally became a U.S. citizen after earning a perfect score on his citizenship exam. “I cried a little bit,” he said.

Good girls

when self-declared virgin Britney Spears admitted that she had slept with ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake—but no one else. “I haven’t had a boy in a really long time, and I’m really craving,” Spears said, adding that she’d settle for “just a kiss.”

Inspiration

when two elephants gathered for a photo op with President Bush in Botswana began mating. As the male elephant mounted the female, Bush whispered something to his wife, who slapped his leg.

Bureaucrats

when members of the Food and Drug Administration gathered for a convention entitled “The Food Industry’s Response to Ensuring Food Security and Safety.” Several delegates came down with food poisoning.

Jayson Blair’s future

when Rolling Stone assigned a new article to Stephen Glass, a writer who was drummed out of journalism in 1998 for elaborately fabricating numerous stories. “He’s a good reporter,” said a spokesman for the magazine.

Satire

when an editorial cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times was visited by Secret Service agents after publishing a drawing of a man labeled “Politics” aiming a gun at President Bush.

Messages from beyond the grave

when The New York Times published an obituary of Bob Hope by critic Vincent Canby, who died three years ago.

Ann Coulter

as researchers at the University of California, Berkeley identified common psychological factors that contribute to conservatism, including, “fear and aggression,” “intolerance of ambiguity,” “uncertainty avoidance,” and “terror management.”

Economic theory

as President Bush came up with a new reason for last year’s sluggish business climate. “Remember on our TV screens—I’m not suggesting which network did this—but it said ‘march to war’ every day,” he said. “That’s not a very conducive environment for people to take risks when they hear ‘march to war’ all the time.”

Sharing your feelings

when a guest on “The Jerry Springer Show” badmouthed his 22-year-old ex-girlfriend and their 7-year-old daughter. Prosecutors watching the show did the math and arrested Paul Alexander for having sex with a 15-year-old.

Direct democracy

as the Game Show Network announced a new program called Who Wants to Be Governor of California, in which some of the lesser-known candidates will compete to win $21,200—the maximum corporate contribution allowed by law.

Direct democracy

as California television stations were warned that broadcasting reruns of the Gary Coleman sitcom Different Strokes or Arnold Schwarzenegger films would allow other gubernatorial candidates to demand equal time.

The Governator

when Fox News instructed staffers not to use “references to Conan, Terminator, and Kindergarten Cop” when covering Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bid to become California’s governor. “The effect is to belittle the candidacy, and that’s not fair and balanced,” said the memo.

The Chosen People

as a group of Egyptian scholars said they would sue “world Jewry” for fleeing Egypt during the Exodus with stolen “gold, jewelry, cooking utensils, silver ornaments, and clothing.” Dr. Nabil Hilmi, a dean at the University of Al-Zaqaziq in Cairo, said that over 5,700 years, the value of the gold and other items had risen to an “astronomical” level.

Invading Sweden

as the Swedish army announced that it would cut costs by closing down every day at 5 P.M.

Smooth sailing

as more than 300 passengers on the Regal Princess cruise ship were stricken with the Norwalk virus, turning the ship into a floating vomitorium. Passengers were given a $300 credit toward a future cruise.

Makeovers

when the Federal Reserve gave the $20 bill a fabulous new look to foil counterfeiters. The new bill will be printed in peach, blue, and green pastels.

Fat cats

as a study found that 25 percent of American pets are clinically obese.

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