1a. DOMINIC HOLDEN has written a "think piece" about Attorney General Eric Holder's announcement that the federal government will allow Washington State and Colorado to continue down the path to marijuana legalization. In Holden's opinion, this is a game-changing, history-making move. While Holden has written capably about state marijuana law in the past, this seems a bit like an overstatement, as Holden does not have any experience as an expert on federal law. Could this hyperbolic, too-trusting article about the goodness of the Obama administration perhaps be a way for The Stranger to avoid having to write something negative about Stranger-endorsed President Obama's march to war with Syria, which is obviously the most important news story of the week?

1b. With a red pen, circle every mention of Syria in this week's Stranger. What have you learned from this exercise?

2. The lead "news" story is about the conservative response to last week's fast-food workers' strike. Perhaps you noticed the quotation marks around the word "news." They are placed there to indicate disbelief in the fact that a story about the internet response to a week-old happening after a long weekend could be considered, by any stretch of the imagination, news. Another example of this would be referring to the piece's author, GOLDY, as a "journalist." Now it's your turn: Please indicate sarcasm by using quotation marks in your own example.

3. DAVE SEGAL reviews the songs in the Billboard Top 10 Singles Chart in what is supposed to be an innocuous post-Bumbershoot filler story, but which ends up feeling like a sneering rant by someone who has spent far too long in the music-writing game. Write a three-page double-spaced essay explaining how popular music has outlived the stodgy dinosaurs of music criticism.

4. CIENNA MADRID wrote Last Days this week. On a blank piece of paper, draw up a schedule demonstrating what you will do with the time you normally dedicate to reading Last Days.

5. In the restaurant review section, MEGAN SELING heartily praises a chicken salad from the Cheesecake Factory, sans the chicken part of the salad. (Seling is an unrepentant vegetarian.) What, in your opinion, is the gravest problem with Seling's article? Second gravest? Third? recommended