Talking points

Three things you can talk about this week:

1. Possibility of a presidential pardon
2. 300
3. Green beer

And three things you can’t:

1. Katie Couric
2. Katherine Heigl feeling snubbed
3. The warm weather (It won’t last.)

By the numbers

Homicides reported in Detroit in 2006. Detroit had slightly fewer murders than Chicago, which had 467 homicides that year.

The percent increase in homicides in Detroit between 2004 and 2006. Homicides increased by an average of 10.9 percent in the 56 jurisdictions surveyed nationwide.

The first year since 1992 that violent crime increased nationally, when it increased by 2 percent.

Source: A study by the Police Executive Research Forum and the FBI

Quotes of the week

“The military answers to one commander in chief in the White House, not 535 commanders in chief on Capitol Hill.”
– Vice President Dick Cheney in a speech lambasting congress for undermining the troops by lobbying for a gradual withdrawal.

“A significant bond is legally necessary given the fact he absconded, admittedly for one of the more unique reasons I’ve heard in my time on the bench.”
– Racine County Circuit Judge Emily Mueller of Wisconsin after she set the bond for accused child molester Mario Sims at $50,000. The man, 21, had cut off his security ankle bracelet and traveled to Chicago via limo to appear on “The Jerry Springer Show.

“Gringo go home.”
-Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on President Bush’s recent visit to Latin America.

YouTube Video of the Week: The nightmare on Sesame Street

Sure, there’s always been rumors. Never, though, has a romantic relationship between “Sesame Street” muppets Bert and Ernie been actualized in such darkly heartbreaking fashion as in T.C. Smith and Peter Spears’s “Ernest and Bertram.”

After Miss Piggy outs the longtime roommates in the Hollywood tabloids, Ernie comes home to the duo’s L.A. mansion to find Bert struggling to hide the fact that his head was in the oven just minutes before. Over martinis in the dining room, Bert shows Ernie the headlines: “Bert and Ernie Gay Lovers!”

A revelatory conversation and excellent cinematography follow, based almost entirely on Lillian Hellman’s “The Children’s Hour.”

For those familiar with the play, conclusion won’t come as a shock, but the inevitable ending – obvious from the moment Ernie blurts out “But maybe I love you that way, the way they say I love you!” – will still break your heart. The film is genuinely funny, but it’s also genuinely touching in its believability – don’t pretend you haven’t imagined such a scenario already.

– Kimberly Chou
See this and other YouTube videos of the week at

Themed party suggestion
St. Longinus Day – Everyone knows it’s St. Patrick’s Day this weekend. Stand out by throwing a party for a lesser known saint. Celebrate St. Longinus day tomorrow by throwing a party for the saint who stabbed Jesus on the cross and was portrayed by Heath Ledger in a TV mini-series.
Throwing this party? Let us know.

Wikipedia article of the week: Tom Monahan

Tom Monaghan (born March 25, 1937 in Ann Arbor, Michigan), formally known as Thomas S. Monaghan, is an entrepreneur and Catholic philanthropist from Michigan who founded Domino’s Pizza in 1960.

He and his wife, the former Marjorie Zybach, a Lutheran, were married in 1962 and they have four adult daughters. He has subsequently dedicated his time and considerable fortune to Catholic philanthropy and conservative political causes. A champion of the right to life, Monaghan has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on philanthropy and activism, which has garnered both appreciation and criticism.

Monaghan enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1956 (by mistake; he had meant to join the Army). He received an honorable discharge in 1959. He then returned to Ann Arbor, Michigan and enrolled in the University of Michigan, intending to become an architect. While still a student, he and his brother James borrowed $500 to purchase a small pizza store called DomiNick’s in Ypsilanti, Michigan. This business would grow into Domino’s Pizza.

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