Three things you can talk about this week:

Clif Reeder
Clif Reeder
Clif Reeder

Talking points

1. Kosovo’s independence
2. The dangers of drag racing
3. Spring Break 2009: Cuba

And three things you can’t:

1. The slow unraveling of Kwame Kilpatrick
2. The clout of superdelegates
3. Book22.com and its Christian sex toys

Quotes of the week

“It’s like when you crave turkey. You eat it and you eat it and you eat it, but you still want it.”

– Robert Benjamin, a 67-year-old former college professor at Vanier College in Montreal, comparing his addiction to sadomasochistic sex clubs in New York with eating turkey

“It’s time to send him back to Germany from where he comes from. You want to know his original name? It’s Frankenstein.”

– Mohamed al-Fayed, the father of Princess Di’s former lover, about Prince Philip of the British royal family, who Fayed believes conspired to assassinate Di

“Because it’s free.”

– John Triplette, a man from California, on why he made more than 27,000 calls on his cell phone to 911 beginning in May. When his calls were answered, Triplette would start muttering, making noises with his body and pressing the beep tones. He was charged with a misdemeanor

Theme party suggestion

Rooftop Eclipse – Tonight marks the beginning of the first lunar eclipse of 2008. In order to show solidarity with the science community, you should dust off your telescope, meet up with some star-gazing friends and find a choice rooftop. While you’re waiting, you should reminisce about past eclipses while nursing a glass of Chardonnay. Classy, we know. But it’ll heighten your senses as you watch earth cast its shadow over the moon.

Throwing this party? Let us know. TheStatement@umich.edu

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Charles “Ego” Trippy – The great thing about the Internet is that it allows the unwashed-yet-tech-savvy masses to spread their ideas and opinions on a global scale. That’s also its problem. Websites like YouTube have given a voice to people like Charles Trippy, a twenty-something with terrible hair who calls himself a “viral video creator” and brags about his 110,000 friends on social networking sites.

Apparently unsatisfied with those achievements, Mr. Trippy decided to make the longest YouTube video of all time. The website restricts submissions to 100 megabytes, but Trippy used compression software to post a video about nine hours and 15 minutes long.

The video shows a mostly uneventful day in the life of Trippy. He opens a DVD and then watches it. He taunts his dog by reflecting a light on the wall. He leaves his home to buy some booze and returns to drink it with some friends.

Because of a glitch, you can’t fast forward through much of the video, meaning you have to watch the second half straight through if you want to see it. But something tells me that’s not the point. What matters is that the video has given Trippy 250,000 ego boosts – one for every person who has clicked the link.

– Gabe Nelson

See this and other YouTube videos of the week at www.youtube.com/user/michigandaily.

Study of the week

Kids who breathe dirty air may have lower IQs – Kids who live in areas with high amounts of traffic pollution score lower on IQ tests and other exams measuring memory and intelligence than children who are exposed to cleaner air, according to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The researchers examined 202 Boston children ages 8 t o 11 who were already involved in a study of maternal smoking. They looked at the children’s exposure to black carbon, which is emitted in the exhaust of cars and trucks.

The study concluded that the more exposure children get to black carbon, the lower they scored on intelligence tests. On average, heavy exposure caused a 3.4-point decline in IQ. The carbon was also found to have detrimental effects on children’s vocabulary and memory.

Traffic pollution may cause inflammation and oxygen-related damage to the brain, according to the study’s researchers.

– Brian Tengel

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