WEDNESDAY JULY 30
A respected organization of physicians has released an official warning of the dangers associated with text messaging, and the AP made some calls today to see what kind of hilarious ways people have gotten hurt looking at their cell phones instead of where they're walking. Among the funny (non-fatal) injuries were 15-year-old girls falling off horses and hurting their backs and 13-year-old girls burning themselves while cooking noodles. Texting advocates say the injuries should be attributed to the lack of attention to walking/riding/cooking rather than the convenient and cost-efficient form of communication but have agreed to pay for a series of educational billboards that read: "If ur not looking u shldnt be txting :)"
THURSDAY JULY 31
The International Olympic Committee has pulled the ol' switcharoo on foreign journalists covering the Beijing Games, giving them the network password to a free Internet system that's totally censored. The New York Times today reported that even though the IOC had promised that China would provide free access to the non-censored Internet, it knew all along that China wouldn't actually do it. Journalists — and everyone else in China — can view only Web sites that the government approves of, which leaves out such bummers as China's human rights abuses and its control over Tibet and Taiwan. Media critics have suggested that the Internet censorship is the worst treatment of reporters since the U.S. government put that one woman in jail for a while.
FRIDAY AUG. 1
A dispute has broken out between the Democratic and Republican parties over whether Barack Obama played the "race card" during a speech last week. The AP today described how quickly the John McCain campaign pointed out that Obama's reference to "all those other presidents on those dollar bills" could refer only to white men and constitutes the playing of the "race card," which is a figure of speech commonly used by white people to discredit issues that directly affect black people. The Obama campaign quickly issued a response to the allegation, admitting that he should have included coins in the currency metaphor because the U.S. put a Native American on one of those.
SATURDAY AUG. 2
An apartment owner in Walnut Hills made national news last week when he decided that the best way to clean up his neighborhood was to point out just how shitty it is. According to The Enquirer, a guy named John Wallen hung a giant sign off the second floor of his Churchill Avenue apartment building that reads: "Drugs & Sex For Sale 24/7." The sign was in reference to the numerous drug dealers and prostitutes who work on the short dead end street.
Wallen noted that police respond quickly to calls regarding disturbances or drug dealing but that all the criminals come back as soon as the cops leave. One drug dealer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the sign is actually convenient for him because he usually has to throw a pair of Jordan's over a power line so people know where he sells.
SUNDAY AUG. 3
John McCain's newest attack ads on Barack Obama have pissed off at least one important voice in this year's presidential election: Paris Hilton's mom. The AP reported today that Kathy Hilton has not taken kindly to her daughter being included with Britney Spears in a McCain advertisement comparing Obama's enthusiastic support to celebrity culture. Hilton called the ad "a complete waste of the money John McCain's contributors have donated to his campaign," but what she really meant was "stop making fun of my daughter with the $4,600 I donated to your campaign, you stupid asshole." Analysts have expressed skepticism over the effectiveness of McCain changing his strategy from attacking Obama's perceived weaknesses to simply calling him a slutty young woman but have noted that a similar strategy worked in 2000 when George Bush called McCain the gay Manchurian Candidate.
MONDAY AUG. 4
A story out of CNN today explained that religious people prefer to go to church with people of their own race. The story describes churchgoers in interracial churches — defined as having 20 percent of their members a race different from the majority — as similar to constituents for a politician to lead and as fickle as regular people when it comes to issues of race. A common misperception about American churches is that black churches are too loud and white churches are too boring for the races to mix, but Curtiss Paul DeYoung, who wrote a book on interracial churches in the U.S., says the awkwardness is more likely attributed to the judgmentalism that plagues all humans even if they're white and listen to rap music.
TUESDAY AUG. 5
After deciding last month that a smoking ban wasn't right for Florence, the town known for its colloquially-decorated water tower will again hear the argument for banning cigarette smoke. The Enquirer reported today that Florence Mayor Diane Whalen has encouraged anti-smoking group Northern Kentucky Action to make another pitch to the city after city council voted 5-0 to oppose the law even though the decision really rests with the county. Whalen's main resistance comes from Kentuckians who believe that the government is too large and that it's more appropriate to tell nonsmokers that they have the right to get the fuck out than to tell smokers that they don't have the right to burn cancerous things indoors. Councilman Mel Carroll called smoking bans "draconian" and said they turn citizen again citizen until everyone either smokes or doesn't smoke, and neither result is good for Kentucky's economy.