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A group of NASA engineers and American astronomers proposed solving the problem of global warming by moving the entire Earth into another orbit, which they say would add another 6 billion years to the planet’s working life. “The technology is not at all far-fetched,” Dr. Greg Laughlin said. “We don’t need raw power to move Earth, we just require delicacy of planning and maneuvering.” President Bush went to Europe but avoided France and Germany, whose leaders are unlikely to go along with his missile-defense scheme. “There’s some nervousness,” the President said, “and I understand that. But it’s beginning to be allayed when they hear the logic behind the rationale.” In Sweden, at a meeting of the European Union, Bush told reporters that “we spent a lot of time talking about Africa, and we should. Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease.” Bozo the Clown finally went off the air. Ohio executed a schizophrenic man. A New York jury sentenced a terrorist to life in prison for killing 213 people in the 1998 bombing of the American embassy in Kenya. A group of Holocaust survivors sued the French railroad in a Brooklyn court because its trains were used to carry Jews and others to the death camps. Porno magazines and a painted swastika were found behind a seat panel in the Queen of England’s Jaguar automobile; a Jaguar employee resigned over the incident.Another employee said that writing secret messages was an old Jaguar tradition: “The chaps go to an awful lot of trouble to do the car, they’re there all dayâ??what else have they got to do?”
Monster hunters were searching Lough Ree in Ireland for a creature with an eel’s body and the head of a horse. Mobile public toilets were introduced in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in an attempt to keep residents from defecating on the sidewalks. Procter & Gamble largely eliminated its line of foods containing Olestra, a fat substitute that failed to catch on with consumers, perhaps because of widespread concerns about “anal oil leakage.” Karl Rove, President Bush’s chief adviser, was in trouble because he owned $100,000 worth of Intel stock when he met with the company’s CEO, who was in town lobbying for approval of a corporate merger, which followed with celerity. President Bush proposed ending the bombing of Vieques, Puerto Rico, by 2003, satisfying no one, not even the Rev. Al Sharpton, the professional agitator, who was arrested last month during a protest on Vieques; Sharpton continued his hunger strike, with no end in sight, in a New York City jail. Holland’s “abortion ship,” Women on Waves, was unable to pick up Irish women and give them abortions because it lacked a Dutch permit to perform medical procedures and an Irish permit to take on passengers. Women are more caring than men, scientists discovered, and old women are smarter than old men. In Florida, a 73-year-old woman attacked a pit bull, biting it on the back of its neck in an attempt to save her Scottish terrier; the pit bull released its victim and was rewarded with another bite from the old woman. A stork’s nest fell from the sky and landed on a French woman sitting in a cafĂ©. Researchers found that Scots are the most potent men in Europe.
South Korea called out the army to fight a drought. Mohammad Khatami was reelected president of Iran with 78 percent of the vote. Silvio Berlusconi was sworn in as Italy’s prime minister. “I have given instructions,” announced President Hugo ChĂˇvez of Venezuela, “that from today onward, any foreigner who comes here and says anything offensive against the nation or the government or the president or the people will be expelled from Venezuela.” Bauchi became the eleventh Nigerian state to adopt Islamic law. The United States made clear its opposition to sending peacekeeping troops to Macedonia, preferring to wait until the conflict leads to a wider war and genocide of one kind or another. Prime Minister Tony Blair, freshly reelected, gave himself a $65,000 raise. British supermarkets were working on a technique, developed by a Texan, to carbonate fruit; the technique works on any fruit but bananas, which explode. Buck Weimer, an inventor from Colorado, came up with a new type of fart-proof underpants for people who suffer from chronic flatulence; the device, called Under-Ease, comes with a replaceable charcoal filter. Scientists found that simply looking at pictures of young attractive women causes a significant increase in a man’s ambition, self-esteem, estimation of his earning potential, career prospects, and dominance. Tall people live longer, according to a new study, and they always have. Japanesefarmers were growing square watermelons.
More from Roger D. Hodge:
Years ago, I lived in Montana, a land of purple sunsets, clear streams, and snowflakes the size of silver dollars drifting through the cold air. There were no speed limits and you could legally drive drunk. My small apartment in Missoula had little privacy. In order to write, I rented an off-season fishing cabin on Rock Creek, a one-room place with a bed and a bureau. I lacked the budget for a desk. My idea was to remove a sliding door from a closet in my apartment and place it over a couple of hastily cobbled-together sawhorses.
Amount by which a typical good-looking U.S. worker will out-earn a typical ugly one over a lifetime:
A Japanese inventor unveiled a new invisibility cloak that uses a material made of thousands of tiny beads called â€śretro-reflectum.â€ť
A couple at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina, left their waitress a note telling her â€śthe womanâ€™s place is in the home,â€ť in lieu of a tip.
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"She never thanked me, never looked at meâ€”melted away into the miserable night, in the strangest manner I ever saw. I have seen many strange things, but not one that has left a deeper impression on my memory than the dull impassive way in which that worn-out heap of misery took that piece of money, and was lost."