the week that was

News you don’t get otherwise, excerpted from The Week:

Good Week For Outsourcing, after a Chinese man advertised for a woman to serve as a stand-in for his mistress, so his angry wife could beat her up. He offered 3,000 yuan ($400) for 10 minutes of being pummeled. Ten women have applied.

Bad Week For Rural humor, after a Maryland legislator proposed a ban on “bumper nuts,” outsize plastic testicles that wry pickup-truck owners have taken to affixing to their trailer hitches. “It’s a pretty serious problem,” said Delegate LeRoy Myers Jr. “You have body parts hanging from the hitches of cars. We’ve crossed a line.”

America isn’t the only place where science is under siege, said Nicolien den Boer in Amsterdam’s Muslim creationists are waging a stealth campaign to try to make Europeans doubt the truth of evolution. They have blitzed European schools with copies of an 800-page Islamic textbook called The Atlas of Creation. The Turkish author, Harun Yahya, holds that Darwin’s theory “is responsible for all the evil in the world, including international terrorism.”

NATO member Latvia said this week it would pull most of its troops out of Iraq by the summer, to free up forces for the fight in Afghanistan. Baltic neighbor and fellow NATO member Lithuania quickly followed suit. Latvia currently has 125 soldiers in Iraq and 36 in Afghanistan; Lithuania has 53 in Iraq and 120 in Afghanistan. Three Latvian soldiers have died in Iraq since joining the coalition forces in May 2003.

Then, of course, there was the program I watched on the History Channel , which will be on again tonight, that sets a possible end time for news as we know it:

There are prophecies and oracles from around the world that all seem to point to December 21, 2012 as doomsday. The ancient Mayan Calendar, the medieval predictions of Merlin, the Book of Revelation and the Chinese oracle of the I Ching all point to this specific date as the end of civilization. A new technology called “The Web-Bot Project” makes massive scans of the internet as a means of forecasting the future… and has turned up the same dreaded date: 2012. Skeptics point to a long history of “Failed Doomsdays”, but many oracles of doom throughout history have a disturbingly accurate track record. As the year 2012 ticks ever closer we’ll speculate if there are any reasons to believe these doomsayers.

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