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Talking Trash, War Begets War, Hands Off My Segway

Talking Trash

A garbage-obsessed Southern California boy found an unusual place to celebrate his seventh birthday last weekend:  the local dump.

About 40 kids and their parents attended Michael Wong-Sasso's party at the Sunshine Canyon Landfill on Saturday, reports Wendy Thermos in the Los Angeles Times.  Highlights of the event included cake, crafts and climbing on a pile of "clean dirt" thoughtfully provided by the landfill operator.  What's so great about solid waste?  "I like the big trucks. I like putting trash where it belongs. I like making the world cleaner," the birthday boy tells Thermos.  "We don't know where this interest in trash comes from," sighs his mother.  "He's been this way since he was 2."

If trash is his passion, Tullytown, Pa., may be young Michael's Disneyland.  The small town near Trenton is dominated by a mountain of garbage known as Mount Trashmore, wrote Peter Kilborn earlier this year in The New York Times.

More trash!  Waste Age magazine profiled the refuse-loving tyke in an article published last year; an AP story about the same offbeat birthday party is clearly lifted, uncredited, from Thermos' article.


Short Takes

War Begets War
Salon posts the complete text of Jimmy Carter's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

Hands Off My Segway
The first owners of Dean Kamen's innovative scooter are finding they have a lot of friends, writes Leander Kahney in Wired.

"Too Many Fingers on the Challah"
Jeffrey Gettleman tempts fate on a cruise ship full of retirees for The New York Times.  Virus fans will be disappointed.

Full-Court Press
Coaches are getting more creative about wooing high school basketball prospects, says Mike Seely in a slang-laden St. Louis Riverfront Times article.

Hard Times for Mr. Benny
Travel writer Rolf Potts finds both inspiration and distraction in the life story of his grave-robbing Thai barber, in Lonely Planet Online.

Mutilation as Entertainment
Caryn James blasts ABC's new plastic surgery reality show, in The New York Times.

You Can Fool Most of the People ...
David Brenner's claim to be 57 comes as a surprise to the comedian's high school classmates, who are all 66, says Michael Klein in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Stick Out in a Crowd
Need a new backpack, wallet or hat?  Check out the latest in Duct Tape Fashion.

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