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May 28  |  
When "off road" means off Rodeo Drive: Lamborghini, maker of $200,000 sports cars that can hit 200 mph, will build a luxury SUV after receiving more than $87 million in incentives from the government of Italy.

Perhaps Lamborghini should also build a minivan. But the market for these could be limited, since the typical Saudi oil sheik doesn't let his wives drive.

Hungry for snail brains: New products for gardeners...

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May 27  |  
That orange dust doesn't grow on trees: The "chief food innovation officer" for Taco Bell and Pizza Hut says the chain restaurants will be eliminating all artificial ingredients from their offerings.

But the ban doesn't apply to highly artificial "co-branded" products such as Doritos Locos Tacos, presumably because nothing in nature even remotely resembles the color and flavor of Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch Doritos.

Land shark: The...

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May 26  |  
Family businessNever too early: Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton, has a book deal with Penguin Young Readers for “It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going.” The book will address the challenges ahead for young people, Clinton said (Page B4).And, especially for those readers 9 and older, there’s a voter registration card dated for 2024 and a sample ballot marked with Chelsea’s name.

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May 25  |  
MFA in bad taste: A top-shelf art school in Rhode Island will award an honorary degree to cult filmmaker John Waters, along with several members of the rock band Talking Heads.

Waters, who is also scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the school's graduation ceremonies, says he was thrown out of every school he ever attended — a streak that could continue if university officials ever get around to screening his infamous 1972 movie "Pink...

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May 23  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
How's that robot's fastball? Robots are becoming capable of handling more of the tasks that once belonged to humans. A study suggests that 47 percent of all U.S. jobs are at risk of being lost to computers and robots, including jobs making deliveries, milking cows and writing sports stories.

We're doubtful sports reporters can be replaced. We don't think computer code can be written...

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May 22  |  
Surfing the vast cultural wasteland: In "The Island," a new reality show debuting Monday on NBC, a bunch of average Joes marooned on the title landform must put their survival skills to the test by finding food and water, making a fire, building shelter, etc.

And as for who will be crowned the winner, The Buzz's money is on the contestant named Gilligan.

Don't know much about history: On this day in 1992, Johnny...

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May 21  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Dem bones: Scientists say they have found Washington state's first-ever dinosaur fossil, an 80 million-year-old leg bone that belonged to a cousin of Tyrannosaurus rex. Discoveries of dinosaur fossils are considered rare in the Northwest.

Not because there were few dinosaurs in the Northwest, but because they usually retired to Arizona.

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May 20  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Let me just say this about that: Crowds of protesters at the Port of Seattle, who are hoping to drive off an oil-drilling rig, forced U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to move a planned speech on trade Tuesday from the Seattle port to the Boeing plant in Renton. Port officials said they had their hands full as it was.

So, while the protesters haven't been able to force out an oil...

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May 19  |  
Barry's Surplus closes its doors: President Barack Obama on Monday halted transfers of combat-style hardware to local law enforcement. The president said battlefield equipment should not be a tool of American criminal justice.

The news is expected to have little effect on police in the sleepy Southern town of Mayberry, where Sheriff Andy Taylor will continue to restrict Deputy Barney Fife to one grenade launcher firing mechanism, kept in his shirt...

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May 16  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Smithers, release the lawyers: Actor Harry Shearer, who provided the voices for Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders and other characters on Fox's "The Simpsons," won't be rejoining the cast. The show's producers say the voices for Shearer's characters will be recast.

Jon Hamm, here's your chance. You're done with Don Draper. Do you have the range for Ned Flanders? Repeat after me:...

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May 15  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
His and hers campaign signs: A Bremerton City Council member who had filed for re-election was surprised to learn that his wife also is running for his seat. Roy Runyon said his wife, Kim Faulkner, as a citizen has every right to run for office.

A word of advice for any incumbent who doesn't want to face a spouse on the ballot: Make the time to keep your honey-do list up to date, or...

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May 14  |  
Nothing but Y chromosomes: A Michigan couple on Wednesday welcomed their 13th child — a boy, like the 12 that preceded him.

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May 13  |  
Liz 1, Barry 0: Senate Democrats took President Barack Obama to the woodshed Tuesday, blocking his request for "fast track" trade authority.

Afterward, a chastened Obama resolved to avoid tangling with Sen. Elizabeth Warren and stick with easier foes, like Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, and whatever psychopath who's running ISIS these days.

Not everyone's cup of tea: Yoko Ono has designed a series of espresso cups...

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May 12  |  
Carbs galore: Olive Garden has doubled down on all-you-can-eat bread sticks by offering a new sandwich made with — you guessed it — bread sticks. The sandwich comes with — you guessed it again — unlimited regular bread sticks on the side.

The chain restaurant is aiming for two kinds of customers: Folks who really enjoy bread sticks, and folks who really enjoy irritating Michelle Obama.

Human error:...

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May 11  |  
Fidel's welcome, too: After a visit to the Vatican on Sunday, Cuban President Raul Castro said he was so impressed by Pope Francis, who played a major role in thawing U.S.-Cuba relations, that he might return to the Catholic church's fold.

"It's a Wonderful Life" got it wrong: Every time you hear a bell ring, the leader of an officially atheistic communist regime goes to mass.

Didn't he used to be: Actor Anthony...

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May 9  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Always assume your dog is loaded: A veterinarian in Arkansas successfully operated on a Belgian Malinois dog that had eaten 23 live rounds of .308 caliber ammunition.

We appreciate gun owners who secure their ammunition, but it does tend to slow things down when you have to follow your dog around the backyard to reload.

Bonus punch line: Not only will that dog retrieve, it'll...

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May 8  |  
McQuinoa, anyone? McDonald's is adding the trendy ingredient kale to some menu items. The fast-food giant is testing a Turkey Sausage & Egg White bowl that uses the dark leafy green.

I'll eat it, but only if I can put it between two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.

Burgle, burgle: After a long hiatus, the Hamburglar has returned to McDonald's ads. The sirloin purloiner,...

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May 7  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
This is bad news for NoDoz: Daimler Trucks has debuted its self-driving semi-truck and is test-driving the big rig on Nevada highways. It's unlikely the trucks will do away with humans; the driver would remain in the cab as more of an on-board logistics manager.

That's good news for truck stops. The robot drivers are not going to buy pork rinds, Playboy magazines and baseball caps...

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May 6  |  
Warp factor 8, Mr. Sulu: Astronomers have discovered a galaxy that is farther away from Earth than any galaxy ever seen.

It takes 13.1 billion years for light to travel from the galaxy to our planet — or just slightly longer than it takes to drive from Seattle to Everett after some fumble-fingered driver drops his cellphone, causing a multi-car pileup that closes I-5 (Page A10).

Tax scam 101: The IRS issued $5.6 billion...

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May 5  |  
Keeping it simple: Personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary recommends a new book by a guy who advocates financial plans so simple they can be written on a cocktail napkin.

It all depends on which cocktail napkin. A plan written on the first napkin of the evening will advise living within your means, saving for retirement, etc. A plan written on the fifth napkin, on the other hand, will consist of stock tips from somebody's brother-in-law.

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May 4  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Pablo would be so proud: New York's spring art auctions begin Tuesday with works by Picasso and Van Gogh expected to go for more than $140 million. An art expert said modern art corners the market because the works "epitomize the conservative, moneyed establishment."

And, if you're one of the conservative, moneyed establishment, after your fourth or fifth yacht, finding moorage...

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May 2  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Do I give up my tattoo or my heartbeat? Some early adopters of the Apple Watch, Apple's hip new device, are learning that its heart monitor malfunctions if the wearer has a wrist tattoo, a problem for Apple's "target demographic" of young, tech-saavvy people with tattoos.

Apple says its working on a patch to fix the problems. But it's not a software patch; it's an actual...

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May 1  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Ask Tippi Hedren about Angry Birds: Rovio, the maker of the popular "Angry Birds" smartphone game, is teaming up with an animal conservation group to help save birds in the South Pacific threatened with extinction. The game helps explain how nonnative predators are going after the eggs of real birds.

Rovio might also want to explain, particularly to kids whose only...

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April 30  |  
Who's got the remote? Downtime aboard the International Space Station just got more enjoyable, thanks to a 65-inch projection screen that arrived a couple of weeks ago. Last weekend, the crew used it to watch the Sandra Bullock-marooned-in-space thriller "Gravity."

The crew now must agree on how to accessorize their man cave in space. The Americans want a beer fridge, the Russians demand a freezer for vodka storage, and the one Italian aboard...

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April 29  |  
Don't bring back the kudzu: Alaska Airlines will be offering nonstop service from Seattle to three Southern cities, including Charleston, South Carolina.

Passengers heading to Charleston will be offered biscuits and gravy for breakfast, so they won't have to train Boeing workers at the South Carolina plant on an empty stomach.

The way the M's are going, late September at Safeco could sound like this: Because of unrest and a...

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April 28  |  
Early adopter: The Apple Watch is a luxury product aimed at the moneybags set, but one of the first retailers to develop an app for the gadget is middlebrow JCPenney.

JCPenney expects shoppers to use the app to compare prices on merchandise -- just the thing for Saudi princes who want the best deals on three-packs of boys' briefs, polyester-blend fitted sheets, and Keurig coffee machines.

They're mostly rice anyway: Fast-food...

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April 27  |  
Yeah baby

Flash that Austin Powers smile: British Prime Minister David Cameron on Sunday defended Prince William and his wife Kate's choice of private medical care over the National Health Service for the upcoming birth of their second child.

The royal couple's decision has drawn criticism from Britons, who say the National Health provides excellent medical care, and never mind Ricky Gervais' teeth.

Bumper to bumper: Forty-three...

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April 25  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Cable's been cut: Despite spending $17 million on lobbyists, Comcast has dropped its planned merger with Time Warner Cable after federal regulators balked at the monopoly the cable giant would have represented.

Part of the problem may have been the lobbyists. When they would set up meetings with members of Congress, the lobbyists could only say they'd arrive sometime between 9 a.m.

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April 24  |  

Your merger appointment is between 8 a.m. Monday and 5 p.m. Oct. 10, 2018: Comcast has decided to ditch its $45.2 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable.

The cable company got pushback from regulators concerned about a single company getting a monopoly on being hated.

Heard it in a love song: The Marshall Tucker Band, country-rock hit-makers of the 1970s, have enjoyed a publicity bump since...

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April 23  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Using "beauty" loosely: Herald political columnist Jerry Cornfield reports that the state has canceled its presidential primary because the state Democratic Party prefers to use its caucus system to nominate a candidate. The state had asked both parties to use primary results to select delegates, saying it would not run a primary unless the results counted. The state didn't want to...

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