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"It's breathtaking. It's wonderful. It's beautiful, like gold pouring from the sky. Take that and stick it in your hat, Mr. bin Laden!" LOIS FONTANA, New York City resident, on the city's Fourth of July fireworks

"At first I thought it was firecrackers. Then everybody started screaming." VANESSA SPINELLI, who was at the Los Angeles airport when a gunman opened fire at a ticket counter

"This proves he is the finest athlete in the world." RICH SHEA, spokesman, on hot-dog-eating champion Takeru Kobayashi, who defended his title by eating 50.5 dogs in 12 min.

"I wept. I cried. I said I taught the holy Koran to children in the village; therefore don't punish me for a crime which was not committed by me. But they tore my clothes and raped me one by one." PAKISTANI WOMAN, after being gang-raped by members of another tribe, as punishment for a relationship her brother allegedly had with a female from the tribe

"It was the goal of these people to eliminate me ... They wanted to kill Michael Ovitz." MICHAEL OVITZ, agent, blaming Hollywood's "gay Mafia" for his downfall

Sources: AP; Vanity Fair