Simon SaysSimon Says NPR's Scott Simon Shares His Take On Events Large And Small

The News That Didn't Get Printed

Reflections on some relatively overlooked items from the week's news.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

A few more notes from the week's news.

The U.S. military cemetery at Fort Riley, Kansas, has run out of space. There were two burials there last week, including one for a soldier killed in Iraq. But it has been 62 years since the end of World War II, 55 since the end of fighting in Korea. Veterans of those conflicts are now in their 70s and 80s.

Kansas senators, Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback, want to build a new military cemetery at Fort Riley, where the U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division is based. This week, they wrote, "we truly owe our military members a debt of gratitude and the least we can do is provide them with an honorable burial ground."

The search for Steve Fossett was scaled back. Mr. Fossett, who set air speed and sailing records all over the world, has been missing since taking off on a routine pleasure flight on September 3rd and disappearing in the mountains of Southwest Nevada. More than 50,000 people have reportedly helped in the search, scouring satellite photos online. The world would be poorer without Mr. Fossett, who is an engaging and audacious man.

And the next time you hear someone ask why can't they find Osama bin Laden, remember how arduous it's been to locate a famous and resourceful man who wants to be found.

The upcoming edition of the "Shorter Oxford English Dictionary" will be shorter yet. About 16,000 words will lose their hyphens. Ice cream, for example, will be two separate words; and bumblebee, one long one. The editors say that hyphens have become as useless as wings on an ostrich. People writing text messages on their BlackBerrys don't want to slow down their breathless insights by having to switch into uppercase for a hyphen.

And finally, Jereme James of Long Beach, California, was indicted yesterday for smuggling three Fiji Island's greenbanded iguanas into the United States in his artificial leg. The greenbanded - no hyphen, by the way - iguana, is protected under international treaty but there is an illicit trade in them for people who want to buy exotic pets.

Mr. James is charged with stealing three baby green iguanas from an ecological preserve in Fiji and tucking them into a special compartment of his artificial leg. Iguanas subsist on a diet of mustard greens, collard greens, dandelion and arugula. So you may hope that the alleged perpetrator also provided them with vinaigrette dressing and croutons. Police seized the iguanas in Mr. James' home, but you might wonder if someone saw him in the U.S. Customs line coming back from Fiji and asked, say buddy, is that a green iguana in your trousers or are you - nah, you know the rest.

This is NPR News.

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Simon SaysSimon Says NPR's Scott Simon Shares His Take On Events Large And Small