Cheer Up. There's No Need for Painkillers When You've Got the BPP.

Morning Meeting

"Morning Meeting" is a recap of our daily editorial meeting. If we had a show today, these are some of the stories you would probably hear.

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Real estate mogul Leona Helmsley, pictured here in 2003, has died at 87. Credit: Keith Bedford/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Credit: Keith Bedford/Getty Images

BPP HQ is a little sparse today, with Luke on his way back from LA, Alison covering a cool story in North Dakota, and Lauren "LoSpo" Spohrer in DC. After our first attempt at shows on back-to-back days last Thursday and Friday, we're going to collect ourselves today, and prepare to raise the stakes yet again this week. That's right, we're going for a trifecta of shows this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. But not today. If there were a show today, it would look something like this...

NEWSCAST: Taiwan jet explodes on runway, Tourists flea Caymans ahead of hurricane, Bush to meet with leaders of Canada and Mexico today, Hope fades at Utah mine, Roadside bomb kills Iraqi governor, Leona Helmsley dies, Santana strikes out 17 in Twins win.

WHILE YOU WERE OUT (POSSIBLY DRINKING): It's our Monday look at news you may have missed...A major fire destroyed the vacant Deutsche Bank building at Ground Zero, killing two firefighters. The blaze has prompted many questions about how the fire started and whether the slow demolition of the building, which was in progress when the fire broke out, was being handled properly. It's also shed light upon the painstaking process of work at Ground Zero. Here's a good roundup of the story.

PET CEMETERY: There's a bizarre and disturbing story out of suburban New Jersey, where an apparently successful couple living in a multi-million dollar home was found to be hoarding pets, alive and dead, and living in more than a foot of animal feces. (Remind me to stop complaining about my apartment's waterbug problem.) As Matt said, "Read the article all the way to the end. It keeps getting worse."

KILLING THE PAIN: Sales of five major painkillers nearly doubled between 1997 and 2005. More than 200,000 pounds of painkillers were purchased in 2005, enough to give more than 300 milligrams to every person in the country. Of course, if this TV show with Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, and Donald Trump ever becomes a reality, 300 milligrams won't be nearly enough.

PRAGUE SPRING: This week is the anniversary of Warsaw Pact troops' invasion of Czechoslovakia. Slate has some pretty amazing pictures.

THE RAMBLE: During promotions for "The Simpsons Movie," a dozen 7-Eleven stores were transformed into Kwik-E-Marts, featuring products that previously only existed in the show, such as Krusty-O's cereal, Buzz Cola, Radioactive Man comic books, and more. Now, those items have found their way to eBay. I was about to say something derisive until I realized I desperately want a Kwik-E-Mart shirt. Sadly, they're going for $200...Photographer Spencer Tunick, famous for pictures of large groups of naked people in public places, brought hundreds of folks to Switzerland's Aletsch glacier Saturday for a photo session commissioned by Greenpeace. The shoot on the deteriorating glacier is expected to give new meaning to the term "shrinkage."...Scientists have invented a new material for the 21st century that they say could "protect your home against bomb blasts, mop up oil spillages and even help man to fly to Mars." Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like this new "frozen smoke" will do my taxes for me.

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good back up for if there was a show...
that pet story in my own back yard was too painful, as were the pictures about the czechoslovakian invasion...which gives me the idea that since your show will mainly focus on the 30 somethings, it would be good to infuse everyone once in awhile with important history that today's younger people may not be aquainted with and the extreme nature of the struggles and circumstances that many have endured and continue to endure in order to make a better life for themselves...but the cockroaches gotta go...my own recollections are not pretty!!!

Sent by jay | 1:21 PM | 8-20-2007

How simultaneously bizarre and predictable that 7-11s gleefully reimaged themselves as a cartoon store intended to be a mockery of 7-11. That humming noise? It's the sound of lightbulbs coming on over the heads several thousand lit theory students, as they all realize their dissertation theses simultaneously.

Sent by CABF | 5:33 PM | 8-20-2007

I think the worst thing about the pet story for me is the sense of "there but for the grace of god go I." I mean, this is a story about the economic downturn and the human cost of that as much as it is about the horrific conditions of the pets. I can understand how a couple can get so depressed and non-functional that things can spiral out of control, even to this appalling extent. I've just been in a terrible, mopey mood ever since I read that story even though I, my wife and our animals are all fine. So...thanks?

Sent by Stewart | 5:46 PM | 8-20-2007

Sorry to bum you out, Stewart. We figured since we were all miserable about the story, we might as well spread the misery around. You're welcome...I think.

Sent by Matt Martinez | 6:16 PM | 8-20-2007