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In our view / The lighter side of the news


Fifty shades of fall foliage

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Ah, fall. Enjoy the leaves changing color while it's still light enough to see them. Let's rake up a pile of headlines and jump right in:
•"Booze and bullets? Georgia firing range gets OK to serve alcohol": There's that American ingenuity that sometimes seems lost. The first promotion on tap: Glocktail Hour. Buy one shot, get one shot free.
"Facebook agrees to delete European users' facial recognition data": What's the problem? It's called Facebook after all.
"Recognition sought for new cloud variety": You would think of all places, the Northwest or Britain would be the site of the first new cloud discovery since 1951. But no, the new cloud species, "undulatus asperatus" -- "agitated waves" gained attention after a photo taken in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The cloud type is described as looking "like a surreal undulating blanket that covers part or all of the sky," (An undulating blanket? What might cloudspotters be daydreaming about as they stare at the sky?)
Anyway, to quote the article: "The photo went viral on the Internet, said Gavin Pretor-Pinney, president of the Cloud Appreciation Society, a group of 30,000 weather enthusiasts based in England."
A few observations: 1. Is "went viral on the Internet" redundant or necessary to differentiate between photos that might go viral in a medical way? 2. Doesn't "Gavin Pretor-Pinney" sound like a weather scale of some sort? 3. Don't confuse your various weather enthusiasts: "Cloudspotters" like pots of tea and puffy clouds. "Stormchasers" like to track down and get close to tornados.
•"The world's oldest dental filling was made of beeswax": The practitioner got the idea after using the substance to fill his ears to drown out the sound of the patient's "discomfort."
"'Fifty Shades of Grey' author to visit Seattle setting in the flesh": While it sounds like a book about clouds, it is, of course, the best-selling "romance" novel (in a series) set in Seattle, written by British author E.L. James, who researched the city online to inform her fiction writing. She got the idea from the Utah-bound woman who wrote the "Twilight" series that made the city of Forks famous. Which is all to say: Great for Seattle. If "Grey" fans book tourist packages for romantic visits, and now the author herself is visiting, hey, it's fifty shades of green, economically.
But shan't we share in the literary wealth? Who will write "Fifty Shades of Snohomish" or its equivalent? ("Everett Dreamlifter" would make a fine name for a male protagonist.)
•"Bottoms up! Booze comes to Disney World's Magic Kingdom"; Next up, naturally: Goofy's Gun Range.
Use "undulate" in a sentence this week.

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