The Range

Inconvenient Truths

Summer's here--and is it hot out there, or what? Our triple-digit heat wave may not be breaking records (yet), but it's enough for Old Spice to once again name us one of the Sweatiest Cities in the United States. Tucson came in at No. 3 in the annual survey, which is slightly better than our neighbors in Phoenix, who came in at No. 1. The Old Spice spinsters once again provided us with one of the most disgusting stats we've had the displeasure of reading: "The average Phoenix resident produced 26 ounces of sweat per hour during a typical summer day in 2005. In less than three hours, residents of Phoenix collectively produce enough sweat to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool!" That's just gross.

More bad sun news: Turns out that sunscreen you've been lathering yourself with doesn't work all that well, according to experts interviewed by The Associated Press, who say that most people don't apply enough sunscreen, which generally doesn't protect against UVB rays anyhow. And it washes off when you go swimming, too. Bummer! Dermatologists recommend that you use more sunscreen and spend less time in the sun if you want to avoid coming down with skin cancer and/or having moles carved off your body, as The Range did just last week. If you ask real nice the next time we see you, we'll show the scars.

And even worse news: The journal Science reports that permafrost in Siberia that now covers 400,000 square miles is melting and could release 75 times the amount of carbon now generated annually.

"Unfortunately, it's another large pool of carbon on the list that could move into the atmosphere with continued warming," co-author Ted Schuur, an assistant professor of ecology in the University of Florida botany department, said in a press release. "You start thawing the permafrost, microbes release carbon dioxide, that makes things warmer, more permafrost thaws and the process continues."

Recipe for Disaster

A federal report revealed that the United States is still not ready for a terrorist attack or a natural disaster, according to The Associated Press, which noted that New Orleans remains vulnerable to storms, and New York City remains vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Nice work, Bush administration!

Local angle: Tucson's evacuation plan isn't going to work, but--on the bright side--"its emergency public-information plan was sufficient." So at least the flacks know what they're doing!

Speaking of FEMA: The General Accounting Office told Congress that the federal government was handing out so much money in the wake of Katrina that up to $1.4 billion in aid was totally "bogus," in the words of AP reporter Larry Margasak. Among the wacky payouts: season football tickets, a 70-day stay in Hawaii, a copy of Girls Gone Wild, cases of booze, a divorce lawyer and a sex-change operation.

Wall Nuts

Remember that wall that the Minutemen were putting up on a ranch near the border? Remember all the volunteers that were gonna make it happen? Well, it's not going so well, according to The Associated Press, which reports that the group has had to hire a contractor to come in and finish the 10-mile barrier. Gee, hope all the workers are legal!

Rancher Jack Ladd told the AP that he doesn't expect the fence, which has already been vandalized, to keep people out, but he hopes it will stop Mexican cows from coming on his property.

Big Shot

UA basketball star Mustafa Shakur announced he would withdraw from the NBA draft and return to the team for his senior year. Shakur, who shot 42.3 percent during his junior year while averaging 11.2 points per game, said in a scripted release: "I feel it is best for me to return to Arizona for my senior season, because Coach (Lute) Olson will help me to improve and become a first-round pick."

In the same release, Olson noted: "We are happy to have Mustafa back. I think he has a better idea of the things he needs to do to make it as a professional."

Slay Ride

It's no secret that The Range is a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer--and we're still pissed off that Fox canceled Firefly, Buffy creator Joss Whedon's brilliant cowboys-in-outer-space series, after fewer than a dozen episodes. What a bunch of jerks!

So you'll find us at the Loft Cinema on Saturday, June 24, for the "Best Damn Joss Whedon Double Feature Ever!" Not only will the theater be screening Serenity, the movie that resolved lingering plot points from the Firefly series, but we'll also see two of our favorite Buffy episodes: "Hush," in which the creepy gentlemen come calling in Sunnydale, and "Once More With Feeling," the spectacular Season 6 musical that the whole audience will be singing along with. And if that's not enough, the Serenity screening will be a benefit for Equality Now, "a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending violence and discrimination against women and girls around the world through the mobilization of public pressure," which is just the sort of thing that Buffy would approve of.

The show starts at the Loft, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd., at 7 p.m., with an admission price of $10 for Serenity, $5 for the Buffy sing-a-long, and $12 for both. If you're a committed fan of Firefly, head over to Bookmans, 6230 E. Speedway Blvd., between 2 and 5 p.m. for a gathering of the Arizona Browncoats.

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