Leaders from 120 nations met at United Nations headquarters in New York City last week to tackle the world's most vexing issues. Sure enough, the lockout of NFL referees ended soon after.

It was touch-and-go for awhile, however. Permanent Security Council members reached a permanent impasse, with Russia and China insisting it was a touchdown and the rest of the nations demanding it was an interception.

The NFL may have gone overboard, however, by promising China a Super Bowl at an undisclosed future date.

I wouldn't say replacement refs were a big problem in the NFL, but it was disturbing last Monday night when they tried to award the Green Bay Packers two free throws.

However, it didn't take long for the real referees to restore order, and for coaches and players to scream about what idiots they are.

A lot of polls show Barack Obama building a slight lead over Mitt Romney. It's not quite time yet for Romney supporters to do something drastic, like hurl themselves out of airplanes. Besides, they might have trouble rolling the windows down.

Romney made a joke about rolling airplane windows down during a recent event. It was a test, of sorts, to see if the media had a sense of humor. They don't.

The Mars rover has begun to uncover interesting things. This week it found evidence of a stream bed that once may have channeled fast-moving water. On the banks was an ancient picnic blanket and a copy of a report debunking warnings about Martian warming.

Comment on this story

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke at the United Nations this week, describing Israel as a misfit and a doomed country and accusing the United States of bullying. Afterward, polls showed him getting a slight bump in key swing states.

The presidential debates start this week. So far, the candidates have yet to agree on procedures, although they are leaning toward Derringers at 20 paces.

Each side is downplaying expectations, sort of the way a father does before cooking dinner while Mom's away. That way, as long as nothing catches fire, you can claim victory.

Jay Evensen is the associate editor of the Deseret News editorial page. Follow him on Twitter @jayevensen.