The Week in Review: Funny Money Stories

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1. Japanese lab invents Internet kissing machine

There’s a fine line between funny and creepy: The Japanese have invented a device that, when you kiss it, sends a signal to another device and waggles a straw-like piece of plastic – so you can actually “kiss” someone you’re chatting with online. Just what we needed. Let’s just hope any future mechanical passion communication devices stop at first base.

2. Some hotels don’t live up to online hype, disappointed guests say

Did we really need a USA Today investigation of online hotel deals to tell us, “Photos and marketing information do not accurately portray the hotels and lead to disappointing stays”? Still, it’s worth reading to see the hotels apologize for their blatant and amusing lies. No word on when the investigation of online dating sites begins.

3. Cellphone ‘pocket dials’ 911, NY suspects caught

This week’s example of crime doesn’t pay: Three thieves planning a heist got caught when one of them accidentally sat on his phone and “pocket dialed” 911 – and the dispatcher heard the whole thing. In fact, the phone was still on when a patrol car was sent to the scene and pulled up to the parked car. “The dispatcher then heard the driver being asked for his license and registration,” The Associated Press reported. The men were arrested.

4. Coffee, sex, blowing nose may increase risk of a stroke, dutch study finds

Apparently, almost anything can kill you these days. If you’re at risk for a brain aneurysm – a rupture of a weakened blood vessels in the brain – then don’t drink coffee, have rigorous sex, or even blow your nose too hard. Oh, and “treating constipation may reduce the risk of a hemorrhage,” Bloomberg reported.

4. ‘Hillbillies” Elly May hooten mad at Mattel

The woman who played Elly May on all 247 episodes of the 1962-1971 sitcom “The Beverly Hillbillies” is suing Mattel for selling a Barbie doll in her likeness. “The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and a court order barring Mattel from using her ‘name, likeness, image and distinctive attributes,'” MSNBC reported. No comment from the Jethro Doll.

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