Here are some interesting and amusing developments from the past week that aren’t exactly news but might make you smile.
Here’s a shocker: Americans prefer dollar bills to dollar coins. But the United States Mint spent a lot of money trying to convince them – before announcing last week that it was shutting down production. “The decision came after the Federal Reserve told Congress earlier this year that it wanted to spend $650,000 to build a storage facility at its bank in Dallas to store all of the surplus coins in one place,” The Miami Herald reported. “And it planned to spend another $3 million to transport all of the surplus coins to the new warehouse.” Yup, the federal government planned to spend money storing money.
Speaking of money, as well as totally un-shocking news: “Companies planning to spend thousands of dollars for staff Christmas parties, even with open bars, shouldn’t bother because most U.S. employees would prefer money,” MSNBC reports. A Harris poll shows that 62 percent would prefer a raise, 32 percent would want more paid time off, and only 4 percent want a Christmas party. Makes you wonder who that 4 percent is.
Whether you prefer big or small government, everyone agrees: Loud commercials need to be outlawed. Now they have been. The Federal Communications Commission last week “passed regulations requiring broadcasters and cable and satellite TV systems to maintain constant volume levels,” USA Today reports. “The order goes into effect one year from now.” What’s with the delay?
Chalk this up to it-seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time: Two years ago, the Los Angeles Police Department wanted to give its employees Gmail accounts and use Google Docs for its documents. But looking back at it now, “the LAPD had misgivings about how secure Gmail is,” CNN reports. “For law enforcement and court officials who must deal with sensitive information – evidence, names of confidential informants, etc. — security is critical.” Of course, any normal person who’s ever accidentally left their Gmail account open knows this.
You’ve probably heard the Chick-fil-A commercials that urge you to “eat mor chikin.” But a T-shirt artist who’s urging you to “eat more kale” might have to eat some legal costs. Chick-fil-A lawyers insist Vermont artist Bo Muller-Moore’s shirt design “is likely to cause confusion of the public and dilutes the distinctiveness of Chick-fil-A’s intellectual property and diminishes its value,” MSNBC reports. Really? Kale?