The Range


The UA football team fell to the powerhouse Stanford Cardinal by a score of 20-16. The Cardinal, who lost to UC-Davis earlier this year, capitalized on five Wildcat turnovers to bring the UA's record to 1-5, with no Pac-10 wins. Boy, do they suck, or what? We're hoping this doesn't mean Coach Mike Stoops is gonna get all teary-eyed at an upcoming press conference.

Things are even worse for the Pima Community College football team, which canceled the four remaining games of the 2005 season last Saturday. The Aztecs, who had not won a game, had been outscored 358-62 this season.

The good news, for UA fans: The UA men's basketball team made a debut appearance at McKale Madness, the first practice of the year, last Friday night in front of nearly 10,000 fans. The Cats open the 2005-06 season with an exhibition game against Sonoma State on Wednesday, Nov. 9. The bad news: Sophomore guard Jawann McClellan has been ruled academically ineligible for the fall semester and will miss the first seven games of the season. Find yourself a study buddy, Jawann!

New Nuke News

Nukes were big in the headlines last week, with ABC News reporting that the University of Arizona had an unguarded nuclear reactor on campus. UA officials assured the morning daily that there was nothing to worry about, but we're gonna start wearing a contamination suit for our trips to the KUAT studios from now on.

Meanwhile, the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station shut down two of its three reactors after a safety inspection showed problems with emergency cooling units, according to The Arizona Republic. The third reactor had been shut down earlier this month for routine maintenance.

Another One Bites the Dust

State Senate President Ken Bennett was the latest Republican to decline to challenge Gov. Janet Napolitano next year. Like the other big names that have dropped out, Bennett said he believed Napolitano was vulnerable, but he didn't have the fire in his belly.

Bennett's decision winnows the legitimate GOP field to conservative Don Goldwater and moderate John Greene. Other potential candidates: Former state transportation head Mary Peters and former Santa Cruz County Attorney Jan Smith Flores.

Crime Against Nature

Some dumbass vandal loser--or pack of dumbass vandal losers--chopped down several saguaro cacti along the Rillito River Park near First Avenue. Daniel Patterson of the Center for Biological Diversity said the organization would offer a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the cactus killer.

Out of This Weekly World

The Range was delighted to receive in the mail an advance copy of Bat Boy Lives!, a compendium of stories from our favorite supermarket tabloid, the Weekly World News. The handsome edition, which bills itself as a "guide to politics, culture, celebrities, alien abductions and the mutant freaks that shape our world," is a collection of many of the intriguing stories we've more or less followed while waiting for the clerk to finish ringing up the groceries. Due on bookshelves on Oct. 31, it retails at $12.95.

While we enjoyed learning more about Bat Boy (who has become quite a patriotic soldier since 9/11), the 12 U.S. senators who are secretly space aliens (including Democrat Dennis DeConcini, who retired in 1994), and the little-known fact that Abraham Lincoln was a woman, our absolute favorite had to be the story of how Saddam and Osama, just weeks after their gay marriage, adopted a shaved chimp. The report notes: "It's unclear whether Osama and Saddam know the baby is a shaved ape or if they've been led to believe it's human."

As great as all that is, we were even more fascinated by an Associated Press report last week that revealed that in Rome, a "Vatican-recognized university is offering a course in exorcism and demonic possession for a second year."

Italian Bishop Andrea Gemma, who peforms as many as four exorcisms a week, told AP that the "Devil's action is much more common than people may think."

The story noted that parents should "monitor whether their children were wearing strange pendants or T-shirts, if they listen to loud music on their home stereos, or watch too many horror movies."