MONDAY, JANUARY 29 This week of creepy politicking, attempted immolation, and freakishly inspired sexual predation kicks off today with a heapin' helpin' of love, courtesy of a bunch of Stranger valentine writers, whose efforts so pack this week's issue they've even crowded into this column. So let's get started:
TUESDAY, JANUARY 30 The week continues with global warming, the ecological occurrence that's either a man-made disaster waiting to happen that, left unchecked, will significantly alter life on earth as we know it, or a bunch of Chicken Little hype concocted by embittered lefties who want everyone to be as miserable as they are. This week in Paris, 500 climate scientists from around the world gathered to put the final touches on the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, touted by MSNBC as "the most comprehensive review yet of climate-change science." Scheduled for release on Friday, the IPCC report confirms there's a 90 percent chance that human activity is responsible for global warming, and predicts global average temperatures will rise by another 1.5 to 5.8 degrees Celsius this century if greenhouse-gas emissions aren't reined in, bringing the possibility of disastrous changes to the earth's sea levels. Meanwhile in Washington, D.C., Congress heard detailed allegations of "political pressure" put on government scientists to downplay the threat of global warming. As MSNBC reports, the allegations were presented jointly by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Government Accountability Project, whose survey of 308 scientists found that 43 percent "reported edits during review of their work that changed the meaning of their findings," 46 percent "felt pressure to eliminate the words 'climate change' and 'global warming' from communications about their work," and 67 percent said the environment for federal government climate research is worse now than five years ago. Icing on the cake: The testimony of Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA), chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who told of his fruitless efforts to obtain documents from the Bush administration on climate policy. "The committee isn't trying to obtain state secrets or documents that could affect our immediate national security," said Waxman. "We are simply seeking answers.... We know that the White House possesses documents that contain evidence of an attempt by senior administration officials to mislead the public by injecting doubt into the science of global warming and minimize the potential danger." Stay tuned and maybe move inland.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31 Today brings what Seattle historians will remember as the freakish downtown fire attack, which was dissected by every news organization in town, but we'll stick with the eyewitness account supplied by Hot Tipper Claire. "Something super fucked-up happened this afternoon downtown," writes Claire. "I was standing on the corner of Third and Union when I noticed a suspicious guy holding a bottle and jaywalking across the street. He passed by me, and the next thing I knew the hair of the woman standing next to me was completely on fire. The man had dropped the bottle, which was obviously lighter fluid, and had walked halfway down the block before any of us around the woman could figure out what was going on. Luckily, some guys chased down the asshole, and we threw a coat over the lady's head and she didn't seem to be too hurt. I guess the guy had also tried to set an old man on fire across the street, but the man had knocked him over and hit him with his cane. The police arrived shortly thereafter and apprehended the man, and no one was badly hurt. Still, hands down the worst thing I've seen in a long fucking time. What is wrong with people?" Dear Claire: Thank you for surviving and sharing and helping to extinguish that woman's flaming head. As for your question, "What is wrong with people?" we offer answers from the Seattle Times, which identifies today's alleged fire-starter as Paul Pearson, a 50-year-old Seattle resident whose life has been a minefield of personal tragedy and mental illness. In 1985, Pearson found his parents murdered in their Ravenna home, shot by Pearson's brother, who then later fatally shot himself. Since then, Pearson has lived in various local mental-health facilities, with his last known address a clinic near Pioneer Square. For now, Pearson remains jailed on charges of assault and arson. Condolences to everyone everywhere.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 1 To help get your mind off that fucked-up story, here's an even more fucked-up story, from El Mirage, Arizona, where teachers and parents of students at the Imagine Charter School recently received the shock of a lifetime. At the center of the shock: Casey Price, described by the New York Times as "a seventh grader with acne and a baseball cap who lived an unremarkable life among a bevy of male relatives." Unfortunately for all who came into contact with him, Price was recently revealed to be Neil H. Rodreick II, who is not a 12-year-old seventh grader but a 29-year-old convicted sex offender, who reportedly kept his youthful appearance with the aid of razors and makeup, and is now in the custody of Arizona police. "Obviously there are a lot of emotions to work through," said Mindy Newlin, the mother of a kindergartener at the school where Mr. Rodreick posed as Casey. "We are just shocked."
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2 Nothing happened today.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3 The week continues with a horrendous bloodbath in Baghdad, where a suicide bomber drove a truck loaded with explosives into a crowded food market, killing at least 121 people and injuring over 300 more.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 4 The week ends as it began, with a goopy profession of love, this one from Last Days' neighbor Todd, whose inability to submit his Stranger valentine by the established deadline can't diminish his need to express his love for his new girlfriend: "Dearest Kai: Since you have come into my life, there has been beauty, light, and passion in my world. I've never met a more beautiful, sexy, cute, fun, and sweet woman than you and I'm so grateful that you're in my life. Happy Valentine's Day, Baby! Love, Todd."
Love is nice. Send Hot Tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.