WEDNESDAY JAN. 23
In a sudden bout of responsible spending, the Ohio Department of Administrative Services has decided to replace 2,700 government vehicles with more efficient models. The majority of employee-driven, state-owned vehicles in the state are mid-sized cars, which offer ample trunk and floor space for storing briefcases, purses and fast-food garbage. But starting this year, the state will switch from the Chevy Impala, which costs around $16,000 and gets 21 miles per gallon, to the Ford Focus, which costs $12,000 and gets 28 mpg. Higher-ranking officials will continue to drive big cars and SUVs because their status symbols are worth the extra money and detriment to the environment.
THURSDAY JAN. 24
My friend Andy always makes fun of me for wearing scarves. He says things like "Nice scarf" or "Don't forget your scarf." Well, people in Turkey don't think that type of sarcasm is so funny. Scarves have been banned in Turkish schools and universities since 1980 in order to preserve secular tradition. But many religious women have chosen not to attend school because of the ban, which is exactly what my friend Andy would have done if baseball caps were banned at UC. Now the country's main political parties have agreed that the ban should be overturned because freedom isn't free if people can't wear their religious regalia in schools.
The Oregon Supreme Court put the future of a 12-year-old boy's foreskin in his own hands today, ruling that the court needs to know whether or not he actually wants to be circumcised before it can settle an argument between his parents. The boy's father converted to Judaism in 2004 and wants the skin nipped off, but the mother says the procedure could harm him physically and psychologically. The boy is reportedly negotiating with both sides, and the case could come down to whichever parent gets him a Nintendo Wii first.
SATURDAY JAN. 26
Gay rights activists are frustrated with their lack of attention from the three major Democratic candidates during the latest ruckus of presidential primaries, and a gay newspaper in Boston has declined to endorse any of them. The Democratic Party countered by saying that the gays are "Ralph Nadering" them, a reference to progressive voters choosing idealism over pragmatism during the 2000 presidential election. But while the Democrats might have stopped supporting gay rights, the Republicans have slightly backed off their persecution, rallying most of their support from voters who are just pissed that gays ruined the rainbow.
SUNDAY JAN. 27
A University of Cincinnati student named Kirsten Haglund won this year's Miss America competition, which awards the winner a lifetime of pseudo-celebrity status and at least one year of traveling around and inspiring people. The Michigan native took leave from UC's College-Conservatory of Music this year to focus on her wit, charm and beauty in preparation for the contest, which the Associated Press said she clinched with "a crowd-pleasing strut in a black and gold bikini." Pageant judges agreed that Haglund's nearly naked body looked like it would be great to have sex with and that her soft-spoken nature and shiny white teeth made her a nearly perfect person.
MONDAY JAN. 28
Northern Kentucky leaders have formed an alliance in support of a casino on the southern banks of the Ohio River. The casino support plan, called "F Ohio in the B," was signed by the mayors of Covington, Newport, Bellevue, Dayton and Ludlow, who noted how effective the developing of Newport on the Levee was in terms of making Cincinnati look foolish. The casino could generate as much as $500 million in new revenue, much of which would come from Ohioans, and Kentucky leaders say they'd like to get started soon because Ohio's pro-family and anti-prostitution organizations can only keep Ohio from building its own casinos for so long.
TUESDAY JAN. 29
Cincinnati area Catholic schools will not be going on any dead-body viewing field trips this year, as the Archbishop of Cincinnati has banned classes from visiting Bodies: The Exhibition at the Cincinnati Museum Center. Rev. Daniel Pilarczyk said the exhibit, which shows the organs and muscles of 20 human cadavers, is inappropriate for young privileged children and that their parents can take them during the weekend if they want to. Each of the bodies is an unidentified person from a Chinese medical university, so the dead human never actually gave his or her consent to be skinned and set on display as if throwing a baseball. Pilarczyk said the Elder sophomore class has made a marvelous paper mache statue of Jesus dunking a basketball that's more appropriate for kids.
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