Rising— American Cholesterol Levels

On Oct. 2, The Ninety Nine Restaurants in Billerica, Mass., created the world’s largest nacho. The final product weighed in at 3,999 pounds and required a 70-foot, custom-made table to hold it aloft. The concoction topped the previous record of 3,555 pounds, which was set by a church group in Frisco, Texas. No word yet whether the nachos were finished, or if double-dipping was allowed.

Falling — Class attendance
This fall’s transition from September to October has been marked by a distinct decline in the number of students showing up for lecture. As the semester moves along, fewer and fewer students seem able to summon the effort necessary to drag into their classes during the first part of the day. The additional rest now will translate into extra hours in the library before Winter Break.

Rising — Fraud in the educational system
Parents are going to increasingly greater lengths to get their children into better public schools. A surge in fraud convictions related to school enrollment speaks to the deteriorated state of the American educational system. Mothers like Ms. Williams-Bolar, who used her father’s address so her children could attend a better school, are being charged with grand theft. Their convictions speak to the immense pressures placed on both parents and administrators by poor educational standards. Desperate parents are vying for placement in a good “zone,” and overtaxed administrators are fighting to maintain some semblance of fairness. America’s children hang in the balance.

Falling — The strength of the euro

With the ongoing collapse of the Greek economic system, the strength and security of the euro has come into question. Many observers feel that if Greece is not able to pay its debts, then it will be forced to quit the Eurozone. Their departure would call into question the commitment of other failing European markets, like Spain, Portugal and France. It seems like the future of the Eurozone rests in the hands of Germany and any potential buyout it can offer.

Rising — Hopes for the Vols’ season

Following a dominating (albeit mistake prone) performance against Buffalo, the Vols hope to notch their first SEC win this weekend against the incoming Georgia Bulldogs. The offense’s explosion on Saturday has many fans wondering how far these Vols can go. Several key questions remain to be answered though, such as: “Can Da’Rick Rogers prove to be a deep threat against stiffer competition?”, “Can Tyler Bray withstand the dominating pass rushers of top SEC teams?”, and “Will Coach Derek Dooley continue to flaunt his orange-pant fashion faux-pas for the rest of the season? And how will that affect the vision of onlookers?”

Rising— Hopes for “Arrested Development” Reunion
Series creator Michael Hurwitz surprised fans by announcing plans to return the show to TV with new episodes and the long-awaited movie at a cast reunion over the weekend. Hurwitz stated that he wanted to run “nine or 10 episodes, with almost one character per episode” as a limited-run series leading up to the film. The episodes are planned for a release in early 2013. Fans of the series are taking an “I’ll believe it when I see it” approach. In other news, Steve Holt was quoted as saying about the chances of new episodes, “Steve Holt!”