The Week in Review: Funny Money Stories

1. Lies, damned lies, and fuel economy numbers

A woman in Los Angeles has gone to small-claims court over a big discrepancy – the mileage her 2006 Civic Hybrid actually gets, compared to what the dealer told her it would get. “The sales force said 50 miles per gallon, but they didn’t say if you run your air conditioning and you remain in stop-and-go traffic, you’re going to get 29 to 30 miles per gallon,” Heather Peters told MSNBC. “If they did, I would have gotten the regular Civic.” A judge is expected to rule any day now.

3. Website suit: Ex-worker took Twitter followers when he left

Speaking of lawsuits, a South Carolina Internet company is suing a former employee for quitting to freelance – and taking his 17,000 Twitter followers with him. “PhoneDog LLC says Noah Kravitz owes them $340,000,” USA Today reports. “Kravitz says in court documents he did nothing wrong. A hearing is set for next month.”

3. Econ professor to run for president

If you thought the Republicans offered a dizzying array of presidential candidates, meet Laurence Kotlikoff. he’s an economics professor at Boston University, and next week, he’ll run for president.”I think I may be the first economist to run for president,” Kotlikoff told CNN. “We see economists now running Greece and Italy. It’s not everyday that an economist decides to work this way for his country – but I’m one of those cases.”

4. Silver iPod of thermostats saves energy in style

An engineer who helped introduce the iPod to the world is now focusing his tech skills on…thermostats. Yup, those temperature-control devices on the wall of your house. And according to Bloomberg, it’s “gorgeous, with a silvery outer ring that seems to complement every paint job. Instead of an analog dial, it has a multifunction digital display, black in repose, that comes to life when you touch or even just wave your hand in front of it.” Get ready to stand in line.

5. Whoopie pies – a sweet new gig

When Julie Ganong was laid off as senior vice president of a bank, she didn’t cry. She made whoopie – whoopie pies. The Maine dessert “consists of two dense cookies sandwiching a fluffy filling,” CNN reports. “Sales are around 4,000 pies a week at a price of $1.68 apiece.” Whoopie!

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