POEM OF THE DAY: "If I owned the sword Excalibur"
END OF THE WORLD UPDATE: First, the locusts in Egypt; now, it's hundreds of thousands of poisonous toads Down Under.
MATTHEW SHEPARD: ABC's 20/20 is preparing to report that the horrific 1998 murder was not a hate crime but something more complicated involving methamphetamine and robbery among possible acquaintances. And that a judicial gag order prevented people from discussing it.
HISTORIC CROSS-PROMOTION (Not that there's anything wrong with that): With a DVD release and NBC special airing next week, Jerry Seinfeld donates the famous "puffy shirt" to the Smithsonian.
KOFI ANNAN: The United Nations' employees union is expected to issue an unprecedented vote of no confidence in the Secretary-General after he pardoned the U.N.'s top oversight official over a series of allegations of favouritism and sexual harassment.
SEARS HOLDINGS ACQUIRES FRANCE
SLATE: Human Guinea Pig Emily Yoffe temporarily becomes an armed liberal.
THE CLINTON LIBRARY OPENS:
"From the moment the current first lady and three former first ladies stepped out of the library and onto the stage under umbrellas, followed by their husbands, without umbrellas, the mutual generosity was as gripping as the choreography.
"President Bush first stopped under Chelsea Clinton's umbrella, putting his arm around her and posing for pictures. As Clinton, 58, who underwent heart bypass surgery in early September, gave the drenched crowd a big wave, President Bush peeked under the umbrella that obscured his wife's face, as if to make sure he was standing next to the right person."
Do our living Presidents know enough to come in out of the rain?
SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS: A Hero For Our Time, according to the Wall Street Journal.
A federal court in Denver ruled that the government must return 30 gallons of "ayahuasca," a hallucinogenic tea used for religious purposes to a Brazilian religious sect in New Mexico. But don't think about converting until you read about the side effects.
THE SOPRANOS head for Iraq; a quick end to the war now expected.
GREYHOUND RACING, and the fate of the dogs when their racing days are through, will be examined on HBO's Real Sports next Tuesday.
NOTHING SAYS CHRISTMAS like The Damned. Okay, maybe this.
KIM JONG IL: Fading, or just rebranding?
POP QUIZ: Which Monty Python & the Holy Grail Character Are You, Really?
MTV NEWS asks: Was Music Legend Ray Charles Really A Legendary Womanizer? (Short Answer: You betcha!)
CIA plans riskier, more aggressive espionage: "The risky new strategy would be a sharp departure from the CIA's traditional style of human intelligence, in which field officers under flimsy cover as diplomats in U.S. embassies try to recruit foreign spies and gather tips from allied intelligence services. Those methods don't work with terror groups or in countries where the United States has no embassies, such as prewar Iraq or present-day North Korea and Iran." The CIA also missed things like the implosion of the Soviet Union, so maybe some actual spying might be useful.
THIS IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY-related PR somehow landed on the front page of Google News Thursday night.
ROCK 'N' ROLL (POSTERS) PART II: Scads of indie-rock show posters to ogle at Gigposters.