MONDAY, DECEMBER 26 This week of old years ending, new years commencing, and churros going kaboom kicks off in Dallas, where today police shared details of 2011's worst Christmas gathering. As CNN reports, the horror unfolded yesterday, when police responded to a 911 call from an apartment in a Dallas–Fort Worth suburb and found a massacre. The scene of the crime was a Christmas party, where guests had apparently just finished opening their gifts when a family member dressed as Santa Claus produced a gun and opened fire, fatally shooting six people before killing himself. Tomorrow, Tarrant County medical examiners will identify the shooter as 56-year-old Azizolah Yazdanpanah and the victims as Yazdanpanah's estranged wife, two daughters, brother- and sister-in-law, and niece. Condolences to all.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 27 In lighter news, the week continues in Chile, where the Supreme Court ordered a newspaper to pay $125,000 to 13 people who suffered burns while trying out a recipe for churros. Details come from the Associated Press, which identifies churros as "a popular Latin American snack of dough fried in hot oil." "Days after the recipe was published in [La Tercera]'s 'Woman' magazine in 2004, hospitals around the country began treating women for burns suffered when the dough boiling in oil suddenly shot out of kitchen pots," reports the AP. "Judges determined that the newspaper failed to fully test it before publication, and that if readers followed the recipe exactly, the churros had a good chance of exploding."
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28 Speaking of explosions in the home, today brings a story from the Central Washington community of Moses Lake, where this afternoon a 16-year-old boy suffered severe hand injuries after his homemade bomb exploded. As the AP reports, the not-quite-suicide bomber was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29 In better news, the week continues in Boston, where today a woman was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation after allegedly robbing a bank then handing out money to kids on the street. Details come from CBS Boston, which identifies the would-be Robin Hood as 30-year-old Jasmin Rivera, who police say robbed a Citizens Bank yesterday, after which she was found in Ramsay Park where she allegedly produced a big bag of money and started handing out bills to kids. As for today's court appearance: "A court-appointed doctor told the judge that Rivera 'hears voices' and has serious mental health issues," reports CBS. "Rivera has been homeless for 12 years."
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30 Speaking of mentally ill people trying to change the world, today brings an update on Warren Jeffs, the imprisoned leader of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and convicted child rapist, who recently issued a new directive to his followers from behind bars. As Utah's KSDK News reports, "Jeffs has recently banned many of the things his followers enjoy: bicycles, ATVs, trampolines, and even children's toys. But [one new] edict reaches into the bedroom... Jeffs just announced that the marriages of his followers have all been voided." Details on the great voiding come from Joni Holm, who has many FLDS relatives and shared what she knows with KSDK: "Right now, they have all been told that they are not to live as husband and wife," said Holm. "They can live in the same house, but they are not to have sexual relationships until Warren comes out and reseals them... Until then, they are not to have any sexual relationships. It is now considered adultery." Should followers attempt sex on the sly, any resulting children will be considered "sons of perdition" and the parents will be excommunicated. "The curse would be broken only if Jeffs's latest prophecy comes true: an apocalypse that will bring down the prison walls and broil the human race," reports KSDK. Stay tuned!
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31 Nothing happened today, unless you count New Year's Eve, the annual event starring millions of drunken revelers and at least one or two innocent bystanders killed by celebratory gunfire.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 1 Speaking of celebratory gunfire, today brings none, just a bunch of tragic gunfire in Mount Rainier National Park, where today park ranger Margaret Anderson was fatally shot, allegedly by Benjamin Colton Barnes, a 24-year-old Iraq war veteran who'll be found dead from exposure in the snowy park tomorrow. Condolences, onward, upward.
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