Jan. 5-11: Worst Week Ever!

NASA today made an announcement that even the most jealous scientists recognize as a big deal: the finding of the first rocky exoplanet outside our solar system. Speaking to the American Astronomical Society in Seattle, veteran exoplanet hunter Geoffrey

Jan 12, 2011 at 2:06 pm


Sometimes even the biggest supporters of public transportation have to give the anti-streetcar movement credit: “Yes, anti-streetcar guy, modern streetcars do resemble trolley cars used in the early-20th century. What does this school bus kind of look like?” The latest news out out of anti-trolly town is that streetcar opponents are continuing to look for ways to stop the project despite voter approval in 2009, the already accepted state and federal funding and the expected 3-to-1 return on dollars invested in it. Among the considerations for opponents is the $400,0000 cost of putting the measure before voters for a second time and the fact that by November the train tracks will already have messed up several streets and be in need of repair.


Remember last month when the Bengals and Reds agreed to help cover the budget shortfall the county is facing due to building the teams’ stadiums? The Bengals today explained how that agreement isn’t exactly what they’d like, and since they haven’t signed it a few new demands will need to be considered. Among them: extending the team’s lease and paying for more stadium upkeep and a new scoreboard. The current lease, which ends in 2026, includes bonuses for losing fewer than 10 games in a single season but Mike Brown would like that increased to 12 so he can get it easier.


Everybody goes to work sometimes only to feel like what they’re doing is pointless — imagine being a CityBeat driver and having to pick up the same newspapers you delivered the week before. But for every individual simply trying to do his or her job well, there’s a group of people like House Republicans who enjoy doing things that have no chance of working such as voting on a repeal of the health-care bill even though it won’t pass the Senate and faces a presidential veto. When presented with data from a nonpartisan organization suggesting a repeal of the bill would also add $230 billion to the deficit, House Speaker John Boehner suggested moving the decimal point over one spot and then made an inappropriate comment about Nancy Pelosi’s mom’s medicine.


Incoming Ohio Gov. John Kasich has already gone on the record with his thoughts on government transparency: He don’t like it. That’s why it wasn’t surprising to learn today that Kasich won’t say how much money he spent on his four-day inauguration celebration last week. But for those interested in the price tag on a tribute to incoming Lt. Gov Mary Taylor at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, two swearing-in ceremonies, an inaugural ball and a free family day at the Statehouse (and the corresponding cleaning of every decorative item within a 3-year-old’s reach), a new state law requires the expenses to be reported to the Ohio Secretary of State by Jan. 15. Andrew Cuomo, New York’s new governor, said his scaled-down ceremony in Albany last month was due to the economy’s “austere setting” and him not wanting to look like a “real dick.”


We at WWE! have spent considerable time and resources during recent weeks making fun of Toby Keith (if by time you mean a couple hours and resources you mean gin, tonic and limes). Another Country music singer is making local news, this time for doing something slightly cooler than opening a restaurant named after a song about a bar. Willie Nelson today announced his endorsement — in conjunction with his recently formed Tea Pot Party — of Kentucky Independent candidates Gatewood Galbraith and Dea Riley for Governor and Lt. Governor of Kentucky. Nelson said in a release that both are highly qualified candidates and urged supporters of the Tea Pot Party to each contribute $25 or the equivalent amount of cheeba to the campaign.


Everybody makes mistakes: Who among us hasn’t crashed a car or accidentally called a man “ma’am” because he was wearing a V-neck shirt and we only saw him in our peripheral vision? That’s how Sarah Palin tried to act this week when one of the politicians on her list of Democrats to target but not shoot by the 2012 elections was the victim of an assassination attempt. Palin today took down the graphic of crosshairs marking districts represented by House Democrats who voted for health-care reform, three of which were colored red because the individuals are retiring at the end of their current terms. Despite the decision to remove the image, Palin aide Rebecca Mansour said they had no idea anyone would consider them violent because Palin doesn’t actually know how to use a gun.


It’s not every day that scientists find something really cool — they spend most of their time checking each other’s work to make sure colleagues don’t make stuff up to look like better scientists than them (that’s why Pluto’s not a planet anymore). NASA today made an announcement that even the most jealous scientists recognize as a big deal: the finding of the first rocky exoplanet outside our solar system. The new planet, called Kepler-10b, is 1.4 times the diameter of Earth and orbiting a star 560 light years away. Speaking to the American Astronomical Society in Seattle, veteran exoplanet hunter Geoffrey Marcy called the discovery “a planetary missing link,” “a bridge between the gas giant planets we’ve been finding and the Earth” and “fucking super unbelievable.”