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The Lighter Side of the News


Decoding the season's genome

  • The full moon is seen in Hong Kong on Thursday. The autumn harvest festival, which is a cross between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day, is celebrated ...

    Associated Press

    The full moon is seen in Hong Kong on Thursday. The autumn harvest festival, which is a cross between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day, is celebrated on the 15th day of the eight month of the Chinese lunar calendar, when the moon is at its roundest and brightest. In the U.S., the whole of autumn is a cross between back-to-school shopping, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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  • The full moon is seen in Hong Kong on Thursday. The autumn harvest festival, which is a cross between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day, is celebrated ...

    Associated Press

    The full moon is seen in Hong Kong on Thursday. The autumn harvest festival, which is a cross between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day, is celebrated on the 15th day of the eight month of the Chinese lunar calendar, when the moon is at its roundest and brightest. In the U.S., the whole of autumn is a cross between back-to-school shopping, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Autumn, already? And how do we know? (Besides the calendar.) What classic sign heralds the start of fall? (Besides changing leaves.) That is correct, we know it's fall because the big retail stores are all decorated and ready for Christmas. Let's rake up the seasonal headlines:
•"Harvest moon heralds autumnal equinox": Is "autumnal equinox" Latin for "Santa is coming!"?
"Toddlers using, breaking parents' mobile devices more": Or so the parents say. It's total coincidence they were all ready to "upgrade" their phones.
"Endangered blobfish is voted ugliest animal": Illustrating the continual discrimination against them, the blobfish community didn't even get to vote in what was obviously a rigged election.
"On the Job: Introverts, extroverts can get along": Well, duh. Who do you think listens to all the extroverts' stories and chatter?
"Scientists discover source of imagination; Could we make robots that create art?": Toward what end? So humans won't have to bother with all that silly art stuff? So students can learn to write code while their companion robots create stuff for their parents to display on refrigerators? So the robots can imagine taking over the world?
"Veggie-heavy stress reduction regimen shown to modify cell aging": Eating right and exercise are the key to the fountain of youth? No way. How can 1 million fad-diet and beauty-product scammers be wrong?
"Like a tree's rings, blue whale's earwax tells a story of its life": Yours, however, does not. Or shouldn't, anyway. So go ahead and clean your ears and get busy on your autobiography.
"Aniston rep: 'Jennifer is not pregnant,' still": Yikes. No matter how good one feels about oneself, it must, at some point, especially at age 44, grow tiresome to see headline after headline insisting that one is sporting a "very obvious baby bump."
"New species of legless lizard found at LAX": Or did that annoying Geico lizard have an unfortunate "accident," ingenuously designed to look like a new species?
"Tiger genome sequenced, shows big cats evolved to kill": That makes sense. As opposed to say, an evolutionary march toward playing with a really big ball of yarn, and starring in cute Internet videos.
"PCB contamination changing Hudson River birds' songs": Now they sing the blues.
"How much is too much exercise when you're pregnant?" If the baby asks for a spotter, you might want to dial back the weight-lifting a bit.
"Man brewed beer in his gut, say researchers": It took time, but the man was finally able to demonstrate to doctors that despite his obvious inebriation, he had not ingested any alcohol. Turns out an over-growth of yeast in the man's stomach was responsible for the medical anomaly. He was treated and now is better.
Good thing the whole case is documented. Can you imagine trying to convince your boss that you missed work due to a bad case of "auto-brewery syndrome"?
Have your imaginative robot write your work-absence note this week.
Carol MacPherson: 425-339-3472, cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

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