Afghans have plenty of serious issues to contend with, but a surprising number of them are concerned with ... a number: 39.
Many cultures consider certain numbers to signify luck or disaster. In Afghanistan, 39 is taboo.
It's hard to find a credible story to explain what exactly it means, but everyone knows it's bad. Many Afghans say that the number 39 translates into morda-gow, which literally means "dead cow" but is also a well-known slang term for a procurer of prostitutes — a pimp.
Credit Helmut Albrecht / Slices of Life Photostudio
A small-town pageant is like the first audition for adulthood. It's not your peers judging you — it's complete strangers.
At the Miss Shrimp Festival pageant in Fernandina Beach, Fla., the girls march onstage in brightly colored prom gowns. It's hard to tell them apart. It's a blur of big smiles, National Honor Society and so-and-so enjoys going to the beach. By the 10th contestant, people in the audience are turning to their neighbors and asking, "How many girls are in this thing?"
High gasoline prices, high food prices and concern over the environment have Kentuckians more interested in home gardens. More people want to buy, grow and eat locally. It’s all in the name of sustainability.
Earlier this month, the rival Palestinian political factions Fatah and Hamas signed a unity deal in Cairo. The deal angered Israel and in his speech, yesterday, President Barack Obama said the deal raised "profound and legitimate questions for Israel."
"How can one negotiate with a party that has shown itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist?" Obama said.
Hamas is the Palestinian Islamist movement known for its rocket attacks and suicide bombings.
As he prepares for his big announcement Monday that he is officially entering the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, Tim Pawlenty can take comfort in knowing he has higher name recognition than, say, Mitch Daniels though he's essentially tied with Rick Santorum.