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David Lynch

"Episode 2" is the third episode of the first season of the American mystery television series Twin Peaks. The episode was written by series creators David Lynch (pictured) and Mark Frost, and directed by Lynch. Twin Peaks centers on the investigation into the murder of schoolgirl Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), in the small rural town in Washington state after which the series is named. In this episode, FBI agent Dale Cooper (played by Kyle MacLachlan) tells Sheriff Truman (Michael Ontkean) and his deputies about a unique method of narrowing down the suspects in Palmer's death. Meanwhile, Cooper's cynical colleague Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) arrives in town, and Cooper has a strange dream that elevates the murder investigation to a new level. "Episode 2" was first broadcast on April 19, 1990, and was watched by an audience of 19.2 million US households. It is regarded by critics as a ground-breaking television episode and has influenced, and been parodied by, several television series. Academic readings of the episode have highlighted its depiction of heuristic, a priori knowledge, and the sexual undertones of several characters' actions. (Full article...)

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A haggard middle-aged woman in looks plaintively into the distance. Two children bury their faces into her shoulders. The woman and children are both dressed in shabby, drab clothing.

The unofficial beginning and ending dates of recessions in the United States have been defined by the National Bureau of Economic Research, an American private nonprofit research organization. There have been as many as 47 recessions in the United States since 1790, although economists and historians dispute certain 19th-century recessions. Cycles in the country's agriculture, consumption, and business investment, and the health of the banking industry contribute to these declines. U.S. recessions have increasingly affected economies on a worldwide scale, especially as countries' economies become more intertwined. The average duration of the 11 recessions between 1945 and 2001 is 10 months, compared to 18 months for recessions between 1919 and 1945, and 22 months for recessions from 1854 to 1919. No recession of the post-World War II era has come anywhere near the depth of the Great Depression (destitute pea picker pictured), which lasted from 1929 until 1933 and was caused by extensive new tariffs and other factors. (Full list...)

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Australian shelduck

A male Australian shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides) in Perth, Western Australia. First described in 1828, this species of shelduck is sexually dimorphic: males are larger than females and do not have a white ring around their eyes.

Photo: JJ Harrison

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