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July 10, 2009

Naked Flight Attendants Grab Attention As Aliens Invade

by Sara Tucker

Sometimes the week is so jam-packed with news one hardly knows where to begin. There's the latest YouTube sensation, for example, an in-flight safety video featuring airline personnel wearing not a single stitch of clothing, which racked up views this week faster than the footage of Michael Jackson's final rehearsal. "We have been absolutely stunned by the massive international interest in our in-flight safety briefing," said an Air New Zealand exec. (More at latimes.com.)

Or how about the heart-warming story behind "United Breaks Guitars"--a "catchy song," says the Consumerist, "about how much United sucks." The country-music video made its debut on YouTube on Monday, and by Tuesday the airline had offered to square things with the composer, who had been seeking compensation for his broken guitar for over a year.

Equally juicy is Carbonfootprint.com's blasting of U2 and Bono for generating enough gassy emissions with their current world tour to fly the band to Mars and back." (The Belfast Telegraph has the shameful details.)

It gets better.

In the thought-provoking "What we can learn from other countries" category, there's the new-and-improved Happy Planet Index, an economic ranking of 143 countries, which shows the U.S. in 114th place. The top three: Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Guatemala. Find out why at cnn.com.

And in the orange-alert "See it now before it disappears" category: coral reefs, which will become extinct by the end of this century, scientists tell us, unless we "act quickly and decisively." (Reuters previews the horror.) A statement issued on Monday by a panel of experts warned that "the kitchen is on fire and it's spreading around the house." Amen to that.

Meanwhile, a Senate hearing convened in Washington on Wednesday (see the San Francisco Examiner) to combat man-eating alien species and other signs of apocalyptic doom. Among them, killer snakes that are attacking the Everglades and a frightening fungus that has shut down thousands of tourist sites and claimed more than 500,000 lives.

Finally, this was the week that the three-word combo "swine flu summit" made headlines and the word staycation entered the dictionary.

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