The Calendar

Slightly Older Kids on the Block; marriage by decree; Harry Potter bares all

Sept 1–4

Prairie Home Convention

The Republican Party invades the Twin Cities this week to formally anoint John McCain. Minnesota, now considered a swing state, historically is enemy territory: it has produced two major Democratic presidential hopefuls (Walter Mondale and Hubert Humphrey), was the only state to elude Ronald Reagan in 1984, and recently claimed the career of Republican Senator Larry Craig, whose infamous “wide stance” in the Minneapolis airport led to his arrest.

Sept 14–19


When eating disorders claimed the lives of two models in 2006, the fashion industry didn’t take it in stride. Madrid’s Fashion Week established a minimum body-mass index for models. Organizers of this week’s London Fashion Week will forgo the Madrid minimum—it might not detect bulimia—and are instead working on a program that would require health certificates for models.

Sept 14

To Love, Honor ...

Trekkie bliss abounds today at the Los Angeles nuptials of actor George Takei (Star Trek’s Mr. Sulu) and his longtime partner, Brad Altman. Chekov is best man, Uhura matron of honor. Altman proposed immediately upon learning of the California Supreme Court’s decision to allow gay marriage, as Mr. Sulu was eating a sandwich in their kitchen.

Sept 21

... And Obey

Iran’s wide-ranging morals crackdown has prompted a state-owned energy company to order its single employees to marry by today—or be fired. The mandate is intended to reduce the number of young single men—and the prostitutes who sell their services to them—at Pars Special Economic Energy Zone Company, a massive refinery complex on the Persian Gulf.

Sept 18

Hanging Tough

Like relentless zombies in a horror film, ’80s nostalgia acts keep trudging along, undaunted. The latest to terrorize your eardrums is the ur–boy band New Kids on the Block, which begins its reunion tour tonight in Toronto. Bar the door.

Sept 24

The Hard Fall

The trial that aired Hollywood’s dirty laundry draws to a close with today’s sentencing of Anthony Pellicano. Don’t expect a Hollywood ending for the Los Angeles private eye, who made problems disappear for such heavyweight clients as Chris Rock and Michael Ovitz. In May, Pellicano was found guilty on 76 counts, including racketeering, wiretapping, and conspiracy. He has requested a retrial.

Sept 25

Casting a Spell

Daniel Radcliffe, who has portrayed the adorable Harry Potter on the silver screen, debuts on Broadway tonight in the psychological horse-love drama Equus. His nude scene in the play’s London run left many muggles agog.

Sept 29


Legendary music producer and noted eccentric Phil Spector once again stands trial for murder today. The “wall of sound” pioneer was charged with shooting B-movie actress Lana Clarkson at his mansion in 2003 but claimed that Clarkson had shot herself. His first trial ended in a deadlocked jury.

Sept 30

An Iraqi Surge

The U.S. plans to have accepted 12,000 Iraqi refugees by today, the end of the 2008 fiscal year. Severely criticized for having let in a scant 1,608 refugees last year, the State Department had already accepted 4,742 by the end of May. By contrast, Sweden, which opposed the war, has taken in 40,000 refugees since 2003.

Also This Month:

Stay or Go?

General David Petraeus has hinted that he’ll recommend further U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq when he issues another progress report this month (the drawdown has been on hold). It will be Petraeus’s last report before leaving Iraq to take over U.S. Central Command.

The Price of Justice

War-crimes trials for senior Khmer Rouge leaders are set to begin this month in Cambodia. The tribunal is intended to bring justice nearly 30 years after the regime killed 2 million Cambodians; preliminary proceedings have been marred by accusations of corruption and mismanagement. The first suspect on trial is Kaing Khek Iev, the notorious chief of the Tuol Sleng prison.