MONDAY, MARCH 26 This week of everything that makes life great and terrible kicks off in Paradise, California, which is not a quirky Tina Howe play from the 1980s but an actual town where today a man might've been killed by a mountain lion if he hadn't been saved by a bear. Details come from the Paradise Post, which identifies our human protagonist as 69-year-old Robert Biggs, a frequent hiker of the Bean Soup Flat area, who this morning came upon a mother bear with two cubs along a familiar trail. "After watching the bear family for a few minutes, he decided to leave them be and turned to walk back up the trail," reports the Post. "As he turned, a mountain lion pounced on him, grabbing hold of his backpack with all four paws." Thus commenced a life-or-death wrestling match between Biggs and the mountain lion, which Biggs managed to hit in the head with a rock pick before the screaming wildcat was pounced upon by the mother bear, which ripped the cat off the man and sent it running away in fear. "The bear went on its way as well," reports the Post. "Biggs ended up with bite marks, scratches, and bruises to his arm, but was otherwise uninjured."

•• Meanwhile in France, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former chief of the International Monetary Fund, was today charged with aggravated pimping for his alleged role in an alleged prostitution ring allegedly running out of the French city of Lille, from which Belgian sex workers were allegedly shipped to hotels and/or parties in France, New York City, and Washington, DC.

TUESDAY, MARCH 27 The week continues somewhere high in the air above the Texas panhandle, where today a JetBlue flight en route from New York City to Las Vegas was thrown into chaos when its captain freaked the fuck out. Details come from the Associated Press, which reports passengers became aware of the situation when the plane's copilot locked the agitated captain out of the cockpit, after which the captain started yelling about a bomb and had to be restrained by passengers until the plane made an emergency landing in Amarillo, Texas. "JetBlue Airways said in a statement that the captain of Flight 191 from New York had a 'medical situation,'" reports the AP. Condolences to all, especially the passengers, who were forced to endure what must have been a terrifyingly mind-fucky stretch of minutes.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28 The week continues with the National Organization for Marriage, the officially designated anti-gay group that's distinguished itself as one of the most outspoken foes of marriage equality in the United States. According to a just-released cache of internal NOM documents that were unsealed Monday as part of an ongoing ethics investigation into NOM's finances, the group is also alleged to engage in seriously shady stuff to achieve its anti-gay aims. "NOM, notoriously dogged in its efforts to fight internal disclosures of any kind, had sued in state court to block the investigation," reports the Huffington Post. "Now we know why: The documents disclosed reveal the group's vile and repugnant strategy of setting minority groups against each other through the shameful exploitation of race." But don't just listen to the Huffington Post—listen to NOM's own words, as featured in a 2009 report to its board of directors: "The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies. No politician wants to take up and push an issue that splits the base of his party. Fanning the hostility raised in the wake of Prop 8 is key to raising the costs of pushing gay marriage to its advocates." "It's one of the most cynical things I've ever heard of or seen spelled out in this way," said Julian Bond, chairman emeritus of the NAACP, to CNN. "It's scary."

THURSDAY, MARCH 29 Speaking of depressing communications, the week continues with the saga of Elaine and David McClain, the septuagenarian couple forced to flee their Florida home after Spike Lee re-tweeted their home address as the would-be home of George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old man who fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in late February. "The McClains have a son, William George Zimmerman, who is not related to the George Zimmerman who shot Martin and whose arrest is being sought by Martin's family and civil rights supporters," reports the Los Angeles Times, adding that Lee has offered the McClains a heartfelt apology and an undisclosed sum of money to settle the issue.

FRIDAY, MARCH 30 The week continues in Seattle, which for years has been blessed with the presence of Christopher Martin Hoff, the young plein air painter (and Atlanta native) seen working at his easel on city streets for the past 10 years. Hoff's gorgeously precise and moody street scenes have been featured at Linda Hodges Gallery, Seattle Art Museum, and in the permanent collection of the City of Seattle. In 2010, he received the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award to pursue a project documenting the reconstruction of New York City's World Trade Center. All of which makes today's news of Hoff's sudden death by natural causes so awfully sad. As David Martin, owner of the Martin-Zambito Gallery, told Stranger art critic Jen Graves, "I thought he was one of the finest young painters here in Seattle, and he was one of the sweetest, nicest, most genuine people I've ever known, and I really mean that. I know people say things like that when people die, but he really was an excellent person, too." Rest in peace, Christopher Martin Hoff. Everyone else, enjoy his work at

SATURDAY, MARCH 31 Meanwhile in Mexico, eight people have been arrested in the northern state of Sonora after allegedly killing three people as human sacrifices for Santa Muerte, the saint of death. "Santa Muerte is a favorite among criminals and the country's drug traffickers," reports CNN. "The victims, two of whom were age 10, were killed and their blood was offered at an altar to the saint... Many of the accused belong to the same family and one is just 15 years old." Santa mierda.

SUNDAY, APRIL 1 Nothing happened today, unless you count all the hilarious stuff that people said happened but that didn't really happen because today is the day when everything is a lie. recommended

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