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News & Opinion

I s there something in the water? Because many of the writers featured in this week's News section seem to be going a little wacky. I mean, one journalist wrote an ode to biscuits for Chrissakes. Another fellow aimed his perceptive skills at the, uh, magnets on his refrigerator. A third person decided to talk up the joys of unemployment. What's going on here?

The collective craziness isn't just limited to writers -- check out what happened when a mall employee tried to run a tattoo parlor out of the back of a cinnamon-roll shop so he could make some extra dough. Weird.

And don't even get me started on Odds & Ends. The lack of sanity displayed in that column's small stories is inconceivable!

Still, we've got a few gravely serious articles to provide balance. "A Blackened Rainbow," which studies the aftereffects of a grisly murder, makes for very dark, compelling reading indeed. "The Virtual Housecall," a look at the latest trend in medical detectivework, also holds its own -- especially in its sober examination of the blurry lines between care and civil liberties.

And then there's Letters at 3AM, in which Michael Ventura tackles a worrisome subject in a thoughtful, exploratory manner. (What else is new?)

So what's it gonna be? Kooky or spooky?

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Letters at 3AM
Technological Vertigo. [7]
Michael Ventura

Volume I, Issue 46
April 20 - April 27, 1998

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A Blackened Rainbow
The brutal killing of the Lillelid family in East Tennessee has consumed local media for the past year. What should we learn from such a grisly crime? [2]
Jesse Fox Mayshark

The Virtual House Call
A Boston doctor is replacing house calls with home videos shot by his young patients. Is this a good idea or a Stalinist plot? [3]
Ellen Barry

The Mark of the Bun
Swing by your local Cinnabon franchise for a sweet roll, some coffee, and... a tattoo? [4]
David Madison

Non-Working Stiff
If you've never been unemployed, I highly recommend it. [5]

Titanic Sinks
86 years ago this week. [6]
Sue Schuurman

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The Sticking Point
The magnetic personality of John Bridges' refrigerator. [8]
John Bridges

The Kneading Kind
An ode to biscuits. [9]
Jay Hardwig

Odds & Ends
Timed-release news capsules from the flipside. [10]
Devin D. O'Leary

Mr. Smarty Pants
Our resident know-it-all unearths the latest trivia. [11]
R.U. Steinberg

Now What?
Can't get enough news? You're in luck -- more news is created every day. Our Now What? page offers a plethora of recommended links to help keep you living in the present. [12]

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