Anyone who’s ever accidentally kept a cell phone ringer turned on at a family reunion knows that it’s really not that difficult to scare the shit out of an old person. Republicans last week performed the equivalent of turning the alien-themed ringer all the way up when they introduced their “Seniors’ Health Care Bill of Rights,” a document similar to the Constitution’s Bill of Rights but instead of granting people the right to have insurance it promises not to kill them if they don’t, mostly because they’ll die sooner anyway. RNC Chairman Michael Steele today explained the many limitations the plan would put on the government’s ability to help its sick people and specifically promised to prevent the government from determining end-of-life care, which Republicans have cited as the third-biggest worry of senior citizens behind Perez Hilton and cars with loud bass.
THURSDAY AUG. 27
It’s never a good idea to discuss the differences between men and women — that’s called sexism and can get you in a lot of trouble around the wrong woman. But a new study by the University of Chicago suggests that women with higher levels of testosterone are more likely to
cuss you out for referring to a coed group of people as “guys” pursue risky careers like investment banking. Researchers say the findings are interesting because testosterone levels in men didn’t seem to affect one’s risk appetite but that high-testosterone females could drastically affect certain industries — such as risk-taking in financial markets — though to date the only major effect has been the emergence of a women’s professional basketball league.
FRIDAY AUG. 28
The housing industry is largely considered to be a rational and self-policing enterprise. That’s why it was no surprise to learn today that it is showing a healthy dose of skepticism when considering the financial impact of environmentally friendly home improvement projects.
The Enquirer today reported that a lack of data on investments in household efficiency — largely due to the disregard for such things by late-’90s developers and the main characters in the TV show Home Improvement — has made appraisers hesitant to include the upgrades in home values. The U.S. Green Building Council is currently working with appraisers and banks to ensure that people who invest in the technology receive a benefit other than knowing that it won’t be their fault when the sun catches the earth on fire.
SATURDAY AUG. 29
You know your family’s finances are in bad shape when Dad decides it’s a good idea to go collect all of the family’s old shit, put it outside on the front lawn and invite the entire neighborhood over to pay $1 for anything they want. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today cleaned out California’s collective garage (Oakland?), signed his name on anything valuable and called it the “Great California Garage Sale.” According to the AP, Schwarzenegger came up with the idea after the state’s massive budget deficit prompted him to cut the government car fleet by 15 percent, which left 600 cars available that he normally just shoots with a bazooka.
SUNDAY AUG. 30
We at WWE! weren’t the first people to think microwaving stuff with tin foil on it was funny, and even though we might be the only people older than 13 to still think it is, that doesn’t mean we don’t respect the microwave-microwavable container relationship. Apparently certain microwave-savvy corporations don’t, according to a lawsuit filed against frozen vegetable seller Birds Eye Foods and Clorox Co., which makes GladWare food containers. Inventor Gary Hopkins allegedly showed his microwavable, steam-heating plastic bowl — which he says can heat frozen fish, chicken, vegetables or whole meals without making them taste like ass — to several companies only to have these two come out with their own containers soon afterward. Legal experts say Hopkins has a minimal chance of winning his case because one of the defendants has video of him microwaving Monopoly pieces to help cook a chicken breast faster.
MONDAY AUG. 31
The Cincinnati Enquirer has long been an innovator in the field of journalism: Its groundbreaking use of Twitter last spring really opened our eyes here at CityBeat. Today the publication with the funniest arrest stories in town took another step forward by posting a series of poll questions asking what fast-food places offer the best value for a poor person’s $5. Among the choices were the Subway $5 Footlong, the KFC $5 Fill up Box, assorted value menus and whatever amount of chili you can get for $5. Enquirer editors said they would have included spending $5 at a grocery store but that shit takes too long.
TUESDAY SEPT. 1
Those of us whose Facebook status updates are littered with embarrassing stories of gin-inspired socializing realize that it’s only a matter of time before our “Facebook friend”/“boss” gets bored reading about such idiocy and fires us (Hey, Dan Bockrath! The knee’s doing great, though!). The Enquirer today printed an editorial on why it might not be such a great idea to “friend” your boss because he or she might later feel uncomfortable reviewing you or, worse, might take such a gesture literally and then invite you over for dinner. Andrea Kay, author of Work’s a Bitch and Then You Make It Work, suggests politely declining such faux-friendships or updating your status so many times in one day that even your boss can’t take how much you suck and deletes you.
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