MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 This week of feted geniuses, busted hussies, and foiled terrorism kicks off with foiled terrorism, as the week's first would-be terrorist appeared in a Denver federal courtroom on charges of lying to federal agents during an investigation into an alleged al Qaeda terror plot against NYC. Details come from ABC News, which identifies today's suspect as 24-year-old Najibullah Zazi, a legal immigrant from Afghanistan whom authorities believe to be the alleged plot's ringleader, and who's been tracked by the FBI and CIA for more than a year. During this time, Zazi reportedly traveled twice to Pakistan for explosives training from al Qaeda—FBI agents report finding nine handwritten pages on the manufacture and handling of explosives, detonators, and fusing systems in Zazi's possession—and ran up more than $50,000 in debt on 20 credit cards, suggesting he might be preparing for a suicide mission. Then came his doings in the weeks before his arrest, as chronicled by the FBI and CIA and reported by CNN: On September 9, Zazi started his cross-country drive from Colorado to New York City in a rental car laden with would-be explosives components. On September 10, he arrived in Flushing, Queens, where he reportedly shopped for muriatic acid before apparently becoming suspicious that he was being tracked by authorities. On September 12—the day after what authorities believe was supposed to have been a 9/11 attack—Zazi flew back home to Colorado, where this past Saturday he was arrested along with his father, Mohammed Zazi, and Queens resident Ahmad Afzali, all of whom have been charged with lying to federal investigators. Good work, FBI and CIA.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 Speaking of good work, the week continues with the announcement of the 24 recipients of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur "genius awards" for 2009, two dozen arts-and-science visionaries who include not one but two previous winners of Stranger Genius Awards: James Longley, the Seattle-based documentarian behind the Oscar-nominated Iraq in Fragments, and Heather McHugh, the beloved Seattle poet whose work can be read on page 19. Huge congratulations to both Longley and McHugh, who along with the 22 other winners will each receive $100,000 a year for five years, no strings attached. As MacArthur Foundation president Robert Gallucci told the New York Times, the MacArthur grants are distinctive because they reward the expectation of future achievement. "We're looking for you to continue in a creative way, without anyone looking over your shoulder." Full speed ahead, confirmed geniuses.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 In much stupider news: Today we travel 30 miles north of Seattle to Everett, where a number of "bikini espresso" stands have allegedly become hotbeds of prostitution. Details come from the Everett Daily Herald, which reports that over the past year, Everett police have received over 40 complaints about female baristas exposing their breasts, genitals, and/or buttocks at bikini espresso stands around the area. To investigate the business generating the most complaints—Everett's Grab-n-Go Espresso—undercover detectives began posing as customers in mid-July and quickly amassed a dossier of dubious doings. Among the witnessed activities described in police reports: a "whipped cream show" in which two women sprayed whipped cream on each other and licked it off, "peep shows" in which baristas offered to expose their breasts and genitals for $20, and "basketball games" in which customers threw wadded-up money at the women who caught it in their underpants. Most significantly, detectives reportedly witnessed Grab-n-Go baristas charging customers to touch their bare breasts and naked buttocks, a transaction that falls under the city's definition of prostitution. Which brings us to today, when five Grab-n-Go baristas—women aged 18 to 24—were charged with violating the city's adult-entertainment ordinance and multiple counts of prostitution. "This was about alleged conduct, not about what the women were wearing," said Everett police sergeant Robert Goetz to the Herald. "They could have been wearing parkas and if they continued to conduct themselves that way, we still would have filed the criminal charges."

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 Today we return to foiled terrorism, as the FBI announces the arrest of two more terrorism suspects. Suspect number one: Michael Finton, aka Talib Islam, a 29-year-old Illinois man who allegedly attempted to detonate what he believed was a one-ton truck bomb parked outside the Paul Findley Federal Building and Courthouse in Springfield. Lucky for all, as CNN reports, Finton's collaborators in the would-be terror attack were not fellow jihadists but undercover FBI agents. They had been tracking Finton since February and responded to his would-be detonation of a federal building by dragging him to a Springfield courthouse on charges of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted murder of federal employees. Suspect number two: Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, the 19-year-old man arrested in Texas in a similar undercover-FBI sting after allegedly dialing the cell-phone number he believed would trigger the explosion of a Dallas skyscraper but was actually the feds, informing him he was under arrest. Again, good work, feds.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 Speaking of dangerous psychos now under arrest: The week continues with Randy Quaid, the pudgy pro actor who earned top billing on the shit lists of countless Seattleites by ruining then abandoning a 2007 production at the 5th Avenue Theatre. Early the next year, this ruination-and-abandonment led to Quaid's being banned for life from Actors' Equity and ordered to pay an $82,000 fine. (At the Equity hearing, Quaid's amazing wife, Evi, reportedly blamed the charges against her husband on a "Nazi plot" and kicked a 76-year-old Equity employee hard enough to draw blood.) Which brings us to today, when news outlets around the country picked up the heartening TMZ story "Randy and Evi Quaid Arrested After Struggle in Marfa, Texas." As TMZ reports, the dastardly duo were picked up by Presidio County sheriff's deputies armed with felony arrest warrants accusing the Quaids of burglary, conspiracy, and defrauding an innkeeper. Even better: "Deputies had to wrestle Evi to the ground as she screamed loudly." Accused of stiffing the San Ysidro Ranch near Santa Barbara out of thousands of bucks, the Quaids will be released on bail by the weekend. Stay tuned!

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 Speaking of people who were in the eternally brilliant The Last Picture Show: Today brought the one and only Cloris Leachman to the Pacific Northwest, where the 83-year-old film and TV star attended an honorary screening of The Last Picture Show—for which she won a 1971 Academy Award—at the Port Townsend Film Festival. "I like High Anxiety more, but they are both such good films," said Leachman to the Peninsula Daily News. "Honestly, my favorite I ever did is Young Frankenstein. That is a perfect film. It's really a truly great film." In other news, Cloris Leachman is insane.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 Nothing happened today, unless you count the arrest of Roman Polanski in Switzerland on a 32-year-old statutory-rape charge or the last-minute clobbering of the lime green Seattle Seahawks by the Chicago Bears.

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