HE'S OUR HERO
He hasn't landed yet in the United States, but "Dubyaman" -- the Times of India cartoon strip featuring Superman-wannabee George "Dubya" Bush and his hapless struggles against the mastermind Osama bin Laden -- is now running in French in the Paris weekly "Courier."
A big hit in India, one strip cartoon features an anthrax attack on Dubyaman that turns out to be Bush's dandruff, and another shows Bush complaining that bin Laden seems to have more allies than the White House. As Dubyaman flies back to the White House, the "Uncle Sam Wants You" poster on the front gate has been turned into "Osama Wants You" by the grinning, turbaned mastermind.
Dubyaman -- who thinks "the answer to terrorism is errorism" -- is portrayed as so bumbling that bin Laden (usually depicted on a "Wanted: Dead or Alive" poster) ends one strip saying "I'm beginning to feel redundant."
(From UPI Hears)
THEY WILL BE ASSIMIMLATED
U.S. military radio broadcasts in Afghanistan are said to include this warning to the Taliban: "Resistance is futile."
Now as Star Trek fans know, this phrase was first used by the Borg in a 1990 episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation."
"It wasn't a conscious quote from 'Star Trek'," Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. George Rhynedance told Entertainment Weekly. "In the context of war, it's a very common phrase."
Meanwhile, the publication reports sailors aboard the USS Enterprise in the Indian Ocean are watching tapes of UPN's new Trek series "Enterprise."
An Indiana woman has been sentenced to four years in prison after being convicted of giving hash-laced brownies to Elkhart firefighters.
Judge Terry Shewmaker said Susanne Cole's prank last December, which incapacitated 11 firefighters for part of their shift, was no joke. He rejected her weeping plea for leniency, according to the South Bend Tribune.
Cole was convicted of two felony counts of battery on firefighters and two misdemeanor counts of criminal recklessness on Sept. 27 for baking brownies spiked with hash oil for firemen at the Central fire station in Elkhart.
Fire Chief Jerry Vaughn testified that a paramedic went out on a call while under the influence. "It could have been critical to a patient," he said.
ROSA PARKS' BUS SOLD
The Montgomery, Ala., city bus that Rosa Parks rode when she refused to give up her seat to a white man 45 years ago -- giving birth to the modern civil rights movement -- was auctioned off last Friday in suburban Chicago.
An anonymous cultural institution made the winning bid of $492,000 for the rusted-out yellow and green 1936 diesel-powered General Motors bus.
"There were 45 to 48 bids," said Juile Stoklosa of MastroNet, Inc., an Oak Brook, Ill., auction house for sports memorabilia and collectibles. "I don't know what they plan for it ... but we feel good about the sale. It's good folk."
Parks, now 87, was a 42-year-old seamstress when she was arrested for refusing to give her seat to a white man after the driver extended the seating area reserved for whites and ordered her to move.
A city law required blacks to sit in the back of public buses.
For years, historians said Parks was just tired when she refused to move, but when she was honored with the Spingyard Medal in 1979, Parks said she consciously decided she could no longer stand for segregation.
Her courage galvanized the black community and a young Baptist minister named Martin Luther King Jr. led mass protests in what became the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Black citizens boycotted the city bus line for 381 days, successfully challenging the constitutionality of Montgomery's segregation laws.
The bus was bought by an Alabama family in the 1970s for use as a storage unit and appeared in the 1990 movie "The Long Walk Home," about the bus boycott.
(Thanks to UPI's Al Swanson in Chicago)
NO WAIT FOR TABLES AT AFGHAN CAFES
New York's Afghan eateries are finding themselves starved for patrons these days.
Zahid Mian, 38, said business at his family's Afghan Kebab House restaurant's Times Square location has plummeted 60 percent since Sept. 11.
Maybe people are afraid about our name," he said. "Some people stop, look at the sign out front and then walk away. I don't want to change the name, but we haven't decided what to do."
It's a similar story at other Afghan restaurants around New York.
"Business went down 75 percent at first," said Wais Shair, 36, manager of the Kabul Cafe in midtown. "Now it's down 35 percent.
"It's just because the name Kabul might offend someone," he said. "Business in general is down but the restaurants around me are doing much better than I am. There is an Italian restaurant, Thai, Russian. They're doing OK. They have a steady flow. We don't."
Shair said no serious anti-Afghan incidents have occurred at the café, though he remembers one woman who entered the restaurant and sarcastically asked, "I can't believe you've actually stayed open."
And a young man walked by the establishment and pretended to throw a grenade through the door, Shair said.
Despite sagging revenue, Shair said he is not planning a new advertising campaign to help boost his business. "I'll just, basically, wait for public opinion to change," he said. "Advertising won't help. As soon as public opinion changes, business will change, too, for us."
REASONS TO CELEBRATE THIS WEEK:
MONDAY: Turkey celebrates Republic Day, marking the founding of the republic in 1923.
TUESDAY: This is Devil's Night, formerly an occasion for harmless pranks on the evening before Halloween. In recent years, however, Devil's Night has become an excuse for the destruction of property and the endangering of lives -- leading some cities to impose dusk-to-dawn curfews on the last two days of October.
WEDNESDAY: Today is Halloween, or All Hallow's Eve, a celebrating combining the Druid autumn festival and Christian customs. The observance -- dating from the sixth or seventh centuries -- has long been associated with spirits, witches, ghosts and goblins. These days, kids and many adults dress up in costumes and go door-to-door trick-or-treating or attend Halloween parties. Also known as "Beggar's Night."
It's also National Magic Day -- observed on the anniversary of the death, in 1926, of Harry Houdini -- and also National UNICEF Day.
This is Reformation Day. On this date in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of Wittenberg's Palace church, denouncing the sale of papal indulgences and beginning the Reformation in Germany.
And Taiwan celebrates Chiang Kai-Shek Day, honoring the first constitutional president of China.
THURSDAY: This being Nov. 1, today marks the beginning of American Diabetes Month, Aviation History Month, Diabetic Eye Disease Month, Family Stories Month, Lung Cancer Awareness Month, National Adoption Month, National Alzheimer's Disease Month, National American Indian Heritage Month, National Family Caregivers Month, National Georgia Pecan Month, National Healthy Skin Month, National Hospice Month, National Lifewriting Month, National Marrow Awareness Month, National Sleep Comfort Month, Orphan Disease Month, Peanut Butter Lovers' Month, and Vegan Awareness Month.
Today through Nov. 7 is National Fig Week, and also World Communication Week.
Today is All Hallows or All Saints Day.
It's also National Authors' Day, National Family Literacy Day and National Men Make Dinner Day.
Algeria celebrates its Revolution Anniversary with a national holiday today.
Antigua and Barbuda commemorate its 1981 independence from Britain with a national holiday today.
And this is Liberty Day in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
FRIDAY: This is All Souls' Day.
It's Plan Your Epitaph Day, because a forgettable gravestone is a fate worse than death. (Web site: hardiehouse.org)
Today through Sunday, Nov. 4, is the Great American Warm-Up -- a time to clean out those closets and donate warm, wearable coats and jackets to charity.
And Samoa celebrates Arbor Day today.
(Thanks to Chase's 2001 Calendar of Events)
BY THE WAY...
This song became a fighting song for the Confederate troops and an unofficial "national anthem" of the South. Name the song and its composer.
The song was "Dixie," and its composer was Daniel Decatur Emmett, born on this date in 1815 in Mount Vernon, Ohio.