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updated 6/10/2005 8:38:27 PM ET 2005-06-11T00:38:27
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Did you lose the remote again?  If you can't watch Keith Olbermann — voted Playgirl's Sexiest Anchorman — at 8 p.m. ET, get your fill online. Live blogs of 'Countdown' are available exclusively at Countdown.msnbc.com.  Click and let the fun begin!

Patriot Act, Take II — The analogy has been made before: The Patriot Act of 2001, to the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.  Each was controversial in its day.  Each was adopted for a specified, limited time — pre-planned to go out of existence.  Each was dealing in some respects with enemies at a time of war.  But, each was "sold" differently by the President of the day.  John Adams, fearing internal sabotage by French immigrants, warned that foreign influence in the country needed to be "exterminated."  George W. Bush has used no such inflammatory language.  But in coming out for the renewal of the Patriot Act, he picked a symbolically inflammatory place.  Mr. Bush was merely pushing renewal of the current provisions that are nearing expiration.

Parents refuse treatment — The Amber Alert went out last Thursday in Texas.  A twelve-year-old girl with Hodgkin's Disease was missing, and it wasn't just a question of wanting to get her back — but needing to get her back.  But this Amber alert had an extraordinary twist.  It wasn't the parents wondering where their daughter was.  It was the state department of Child Protective Services.  The girl was with her mother.  When it comes to serious medical care, when are the parents wrong, and the government right? Parents refused radiation treatment for their daughter, now Child Welfare officials have taken custody of the teen .

Politicians: the winning look — While the fallout continues from Howard Dean's description of Republicans as "White Male Christians, mostly,” it turns out that the appearance aspect of politics may be more important than even Mr. Dean realizes.  Which system predicts election winners 67 to 72 percent of the time?  One in which test subjects who knew nothing of politics or politicians were asked to pick — by sight alone — which candidate looked more competent.  Not prettier, not cooler, not more composed, not less five o'clock shadowy.  A Princeton social psychology professor and his grad student assistants showed volunteers, photos of pairs of politicians who had actually run against each other.   The test subjects only saw the pictures briefly.  They were then asked which candidate of each pair was more competent.  An estimated 66.8 percent of the time in House races, the politician they chose won and 71.6 percent of the time in Senate races, the politician they chose won.

Class of 9/11 — New graduates are tapping the keg one last time.  Bright-eyed and post-finals bushy-tailed grads face many adventures in the weeks in years to come.  And for thousands of students who have graduated in these past few weeks, it has been accompanied by another surprise.  Sometimes commencement addresses actually contain useful advice and information.

Robo-roach — The Roach-Mobile.  If you've never owned one, you've probably known someone who did.  It's a common enough term for a car, somewhere in age past that of being "used" or being "old," and having advanced to a state of decrepitude where the only way you get rid of the roaches living inside it — is if they fall through the holes have rusted out in the floor.  Then there's the Roach Coach. You've probably bought a dubious looking burger from one of those — never to see that food.  But in our number one story on the Countdown tonight...New meanings for those terms....The Roach-Mobile or The Roach Coach is a battery-operated three-wheeled car, of sorts — driven by a roach.  Not just any roach, of course — one of those big ones who can kick your domestic cockroach's feelers from here to Canada. These are Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches.  It's part of an experiment in robot development being conducted at the University of California by a graduate student named Garnet Hertz.

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