The Range

We Got Lame

Homecoming brought a wave of crimson-clad alum washing over campus to strike up the band, light up a bonfire and watch in horror as the UA Wildcats got whupped once again. The 28-14 collapse against Oregon State, which included two fumbles by the Wildcat offense that the Beavers converted into touchdowns, was the seventh straight conference loss for the Cats, who have triumphed over only the NAU Lumberjacks during Coach Mike Stoops' inaugural season.

Public access channels are scrambling for the broadcast rights for the Cats' away game against the Washington Huskies, who have also gone 0-5 in conference play. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6.

Demoralized UA fans can fortunately now turn their attention to the men's basketball team, which made its debut with a Red-Blue scrimmage at McKale Center. The game was won by the red team 105-88, but The Range is going to press too early to tell whether that presages a Bush victory this week.

Coming off a mediocre season last year, the Cats are ranked 11th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll, No. 12 in the Sporting News and, of course, No. 1 in our hearts.

The Wildcats have their annual preseason exhibition game at McKale against the Washington Generals ... er, that is, Team Georgia at 2 p.m. this Sunday, Nov. 7.

Meanwhile, Out Along the Rings of Saturn...

A team of UA scientists traveled to NASA headquarters in Pasadena as the Cassini spacecraft delivered fresh tricorder readings while making a flyby roughly 994 miles above the surface of Titan. Cassini's radar-imaging cameras peered for the first time past the thick clouds that hide the surface of the mysterious moon of Saturn.

So what did we learn? The UA's Jonathan Lunine told NASA that "Titan is a dynamic place with complex geologic processes that may be shaping its surface. Its surface may well be covered with organic materials, but we still don't know how much of the surface is liquid or solid. The fact that we have seen few craters tells us that Titan's surface is young."

Scientists have detected a dark area shaped like a cat's head, which they've dubbed the Black Cat, the Halloween Cat or Si-Si the Cat, depending on which press release you read. Scientists suspect it may be a lake, but we believe it's clearly the creation of a race of feline aliens who plan to turn us into slave laborers in their catnip mines. Decide for yourself at

Happy Motorin'!

Yet another reason to enjoy your drive to Phoenix: The state is widening Interstate 10 between from Tangerine and Cortaro Farms roads. The 7.5 mile project will expand Interstate 10 from two to three lanes in each direction, at a cost of $18.7 million.

Transportation department engineer Dennis Alvarez says that traffic may be limited at times to one lane in each direction during night work, but he expects only slight delays during the day, when two lanes in each direction will remain open. The Range worries the work will slow our upcoming trip to the shiny IKEA store set to open soon outside Tempe. Swedish meatballs, anyone?

We're in the Money

Three months into the fiscal year, the state remains flush, with the financial wizards at the Joint Legislative Budget Committee reporting that collections have exceeded expectations by nearly $103 million.

Among the revenue streams above forecast: Sales taxes ($27.3 million), income taxes ($32,9 million) and corporate income taxes ($27.2 million).

Gov. Janet Napolitano noted the state economy was good "but still a little bit sideways, as is the nation's."

The additional funds will be split between the state's general fund and the rainy-day reserve fund.

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