Monday, January 22, 2007

News That’s Just Too Sweet: Fox has bought the Survivor creator’s latest reality show, which pits parents against each other to answer questions from elementary school textbooks ("Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader?"). What a great job to have (selecting the most charismatic wannabes who already know they're going to be intellectual schlumps, just to be on teevee)!

Furthermore, in that vein: 22 ordinary middle-class people, i.e., of average ignorance, fell completely for a Louisiana woman’s far-fetched scam, which netted her almost $1m. She told them she was a CIA agent and therefore had access to a satellite imaging system that could scan their bodies for disease and that there was no muss or fuss to it because CIA agents would do all the administering of the scans by coming into their homes while they were asleep. "Solid, middle-class, educated citizens" was how a prosecutor described these victims.

The Arrangements Have Been Made: This is the title under which Yr Editor considers ass-backward breakdowns in which the Americans at the top of the food chain always win, always, somehow. In the NY Times yesterday, Ben Stein describes a case in which the big cheese principal of a public company makes a business decision, via a rubber-stamping board of directors, that is blatantly to his great, great benefit while being simultaneously to the obvious detriment of the shareholders. That the company is Caremark RX, whose only job it is to say "no" to sick people who want health insurance to cover their prescriptions, tends not to inspire outrage.

Below The Fold
The death rate of black men in prison is lower than the death rate of black men not in prison (probably because "prison" is not as dangerous as the "inner city") . . . . . Muslims and Christians in India working together—in their common fear of yoga . . . . . The mayor of Fago, Spain (described as an "unpleasant" man), was murdered, and so despised was he that police consider every single citizen a suspect and have begun mass DNA testing . . . . . How can you drunkenly crash through a window and fall 17 stories and just get a broken leg out of it (especially when Yr Editor has one more opening for a Thinning the Herd story)? . . . . . The most common boy’s name for births in 2006 in Arizona: Angel (but in NY, the vast majority of Hispanics are giving their kids Anglo names) . . . . . Corporate execs caught up in that stock option backdating thing are giving the options back to the company, but in most cases, the company is giving them equivalent bonuses in their place (uh, well: The Arrangements Have Been Made) [Wall Street Journal $$] . . . . . Three guys in Lindenhurst, N.Y., allegedly stole what they probably thought were cellphones (that they would re-sell), but they were global positioning satellite devices, which made the guys really easy to track down . . . . . A major reason so many men are becoming HIV positive, says a major AIDS group about to sue, is because Pfizer replaced Bob Dole with younger men in its Viagra ads (seriously).