•"Retailers report higher December sales": It turns out that "A last-minute surge in spending saved the holiday shopping season." Major retailers including Costco, Gap and Nordstrom reported better-than-expected revenue in December.
Who knew? Because on Dec. 26, the news was "Shoppers disappoint retailers this holiday season." Despite the supposed demand for 24/7 "news coverage," that is exactly the wrong way to report earnings and other fiscal news. At the very least, have a final number (monthly, quarterly) before declaring retailers' "disappointment" in their shoppers.
Other reports as Christmas neared: "Last-minute shoppers' mood muted" and "Christmas sales look ho-hum."
The quoted business analysts' predictions were wrong, kind of like certain presidential prognosticators. Journalists and analysts would do better to drop the psychic-prediction part of their reporting. Or just go ahead and hire TV's "Long Island Medium."
•"Is civilization good? Author Jared Diamond investigates": Despite his name, the author, a UCLA professor and MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant and National Medal of Science winner, is in no way associated with the overly advertised "Jared the Galleria of Jewelry." (Although the "Galleria" commercials could come up under that "Is civilization good?" conversation.)
"Hugh Hefner, 86, marries his 'runaway bride'": The Playboy founder exchanged vows with Crystal Harris, a 26-year-old "Playmate of the Month" in 2009, who broke off a previous engagement to Hefner just before they were to be married in 2011. She must have crunched the numbers and figured her odds are better this time around.
"Police: Pa. man claims booze on breath a week old": Eewww. What a grossly original argument. A legal beagle, with breath to match.
"Dinosaurs seduced mates by 'striking a pose' with tail feathers": Anyone else picturing a cross between a gigantic peacock and a fossily Madonna singing her hit "Vogue"?
"Toyota, Audi move closer to driverless cars": Moving us closer to the day when we can operate our whole lives from the safety, comfort and isolation of our couches.
"Library of Congress has amassed 170 billion tweets": Really? Is one of them: "Please, future generations, don't judge us by tweets alone, despite the sheer number"?
According to Twitter, Lady Gaga (Madonna's successor) has the most followers in the world. Lady Gaga's most recent tweet:
"If only Fame came in IV form could I bare being away from you. I live for the way that you cheer and scream for me. The Applause."
Good grief. The Galleria of Fame. Is Dr. Diamond in the house?
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