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Published: Sunday, January 5, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
The Lighter Side of the News

Song, dance always good for what ails you

As if flu season wasn't enough to contend with, four out of five cyberchondriacs agree that these lesser maladies can strike this weekend: 1. Seahawk withdrawal. Saturday's playoff game is so far away. The antidote: Listen to the Carly Simon's "Anticipation" while watching the other playoff games. Emulate the team's confidence. Practice walking into your playoff game party like you were walking onto a yacht/Your hat strategically dipped below one eye/Your scarf it was rave green. Oops. Wrong team.
2. Christmas Lights Takedown-Meltdown Syndrome. All of the frustration one experiences trying to put them up, but without any of the fun anticipation. Symptoms include watching football, or a "Downton Abbey" marathon, instead of taking down the lights. Long-term effects include the mock-surprise discovery of a box of mangled and tangled lights next December.
3. Self-Appointed-Boeing-Analyst Disease. The fix is easy, but hard for many to swallow: Be quiet. Or tell it to the Christmas lights as you take them down. Try cranking up Earth, Wind and Fire's "Let's Groove" and really belt out the part that goes: Just move yourself/And glide like a 747/And you lose yourself in the sky/Among the clouds in the Heaven.
Let this groove get us to move through the headlines:
•"Wal-Mart recalls Chinese donkey meat": DNA testing showed traces of fox meat in the donkey meat, considered a delicacy in some parts of China. Wal-Mart is thinking of taking legal action against the supplier, who insisted this could be a happy, Reeses Peanut Butter Cup type of happy accident: "You got your fox meat in my donkey meat!" "No, you got your donkey meat in my fox meat." "Hey... Mmmmmmm."
Meanwhile, Washington's geoduck industry is reeling from China's sudden ban on geoduck imports, another delicacy. But only in China. Which accounts for about 90 percent of geoduck exports from the state. Despite tests demonstrating otherwise, China says the shellfish contain high level of toxins, and foxins. Hmm. Could it be lack of oxygen in China's toxic air that is the real problem? ("You got your geoduck in my donkey-fox meat!" "No...")
•"Study: Top college leaders remain white, male": University of Central Florida's Diversity and Ethics in Sport research found that for the 2013-14 academic year, 88.8 percent of university presidents, 84.8 percent of athletic directors and 100 percent of conference commissioners are white. (And that's not counting the NCAA organization, headed by $1.6 million-a-year president Mark Emmert.) The study's author, Richard Lapchick, called the numbers "unacceptable" and said part of the problem falls on the lack of penalties for institutions that aren't more diverse. In June, Sports Illustrated reported that under Emmert, the NCAA enforcement division has gone from "bad to worse." So there you have it.
"100-million-year old amber fossil preserves ancient flowers caught in the middle of sexual reproduction": But the highly embarrassed plant, newly identified as micropetasos burmensis, swore it had carefully erased its entire history from its hard drive, or "stamen." ("Hey, you got your pollen on my stigma...")
When someone sneezes this week, say "geoduck!" instead of "gesundheit!"
Carol MacPherson: 425-339-3472,

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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor:

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer:

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor:

Josh O'Connor, Publisher:

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Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at or 425-339-3472.

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