COLUMN DIARY, a check of big headlines, small wonders and other highlights:
1. Sadly, it’s now Newsweak. With dwindling ads, magazine going online only.
2. American Airlines introduces unique, all-new feature — seats that become unhinged from floor.
3. At first presidential debate, Obama brags he got bin Laden; Romney says he’ll go after Big Bird.
4. Suddenly, after record hot, dry summer, it’s Oct-oh-brrrrr! From air conditioning to furnace, in 36 hours!
5. Hailed as “greatest social media advance of 21st Century,” Facebook adds one billionth user. At least, that’s what I read while goofing off and reading it at work.
6. The Flintstones, that modern stone-age family, celebrate 52nd birthday. Fred still doesn’t look a day over 275 million.
7. Fifty-six years later, “Price Is Right” hires first male model. “Come on down ... uh, finally!”
8. America pauses again to honor Christopher Columbus, our very first illegal immigrant.
9. Jerry Sandusky, who spent life at Penn State, now gets life at state pen.
10. Legendary ’60s singing icon David Crosby accused of weapons charge. Someday, it’ll surely be Crosby, Stills, Nash and Gun.
11. 10-11-12 … and it’s never too early to plan ahead for 11-12-13.
12. World celebrates what would have been John Lennon’s 72nd birthday. "Imagine" that.
13. After traveling a trillion miles as a space shuttle, Endeavor gets slowed to a crawl just trying to get around Los Angeles.
14. Sadly, “Webster” star and ex-NFL great, Alex Karras, reaches end zone. He was 77.
15. A classy guy, taught by his dad “to always finish what you started,” on off-day from playoffs, NY Yankees manager Joe Girardi flies back to native Peoria to help lay his father to rest.
16. From space capsule 24 miles up in space, man with parachute jumps down in fastest plummet back to Earth since Barack Obama decided to tackle health care.
17. Tom Hanks accidentally says f-word on NB(leep)C's "Today."
18. For Halloween 2012, scariest costumes reportedly are: (1) monsters, (2) Jason outfits and, after too many months of campaigning, (3) any political candidate.
19. Commute from Dwight to Pontiac gets shorter. Amtrak engineer stomps accelerator, gets train up to 111 mph.
20. Kellogg’s pulls Mini-Wheats after metal fragments found. Niacin’s fine … but not iron.
21. Sadly, George McGovern, who had best name ever for a politician, moves on. He was 90.
22. Astronomers discover planet made up entirely of diamond. (Note to guys: And you thought walking past the jewelry store at the mall was stressful.)
23. ISU’s Watterson Towers lives up to its name, is flooded when sprinklers on 11th floor go off.
24. Donald Trump demands Obama’s college grades … and to think Ronald Reagan used to openly “brag” he was only a C student at Eureka College.
25. “House-sized” asteroid whizzes within 59,000 miles of Earth, thus potentially ending the world. It’s always something.
26. Amazing year now even bordering on full-fledged miracle - gas nudges down to almost only $3 a gallon!
27. Page 1 headline: “Quinn to allow media in prisons.” No word if he’ll also let them out.
28. America officially Land of Giants in 2012: New York Giants win Super Bowl! San Francisco Giants win Series!
29. “Monster” storm envelopes Northeast, coincidentally at Halloween. Even Mother Nature appears to have a dark sense of humor these days.
30. World Trivia Day … you know, just in case you didn't know.
31. At long last, only week until the election, and an end finally to the nasty TV ads. “I’m Bill Flick and c’mon, how come no one ever asks us if WE approve of those ads?”
Bill Flick is at email@example.com