Believe it or not, there have been other things going on in the news lately besides Barack Obama's decision to wear or not to wear a flag lapel pin and whether John McCain will confuse Iran and Iraq once again. Here are a few of the stories that you may have missed:
A federal appeals court on Monday threw out a $550,000 indecency fine against CBS for the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show that ended with Janet Jackson's breast-baring "wardrobe malfunction." As you certainly recall, Janet's nipple was exposed for nine-sixteenths of a second, causing millions of people to claim they were shocked and the FCC to fine CBS for the incident. Now that the court has declared that the exposure was not worthy of the fine, look for another lawsuit. I predict that Janet Jackson will be outraged that exposing her breast is not considered obscene and not worth a $550,000 fine.
Activists in Spain are pursuing giving great apes like gorillas and chimpanzees certain rights -- such as the right to life, freedom from arbitrary captivity and protection from torture. In other words, they want to give these apes some rights that the United States won't guarantee to humans.
Passengers on a Qantas jet en route from London to Melbourne got the shock of their lives the other day. No, the air conditioning on the plane didn't suddenly work properly. A huge hole in the fuselage opened up. Reporters said the hole was the size of a small car. But I doubt that a car sideswiped the plane at 30,000 feet. There were no injuries, and all reports said that the passengers were incredibly calm as the plane rapidly descended to make an emergency landing. Of course, they were calm. They obviously remembered the movie "Rain Man" in which Raymond (Dustin Hoffman) informed us that Qantas was the safest airline in the world. Of course, "Raymond" also told us that K-Mart is the best place to buy underwear.
And speaking of aviation, activist Dan Glass shook British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's hand with his right hand while he placed his left hand – which had been covered with Superglue – onto the Prime Minister's suit sleeve. He said he wanted to make sure that Brown "stuck around" while Glass talked to him about his opposition to expanding London's Heathrow airport. The name of the protest organization involved is "Plane Stupid." I'm not kidding. "Plane Stupid." However, Qantas could possibly learn something from "Plane Stupid" and use Superglue on its planes.
With the Olympics only days away, I'm sure the Chinese are ridding the streets of any possible criminal element. However, there's a good chance that on the last day of competition, there could be hundreds of masked men running through the streets of Beijing. No, they won't be criminals. They'll be marathon runners wearing masks to help them breathe. Some athletes have already dropped out of the Olympics because of the choking smog in Beijing. Others have been issued masks by their teams. This could be the first Olympics that won't just be figuratively, but literally breathtaking.
There was a huge brawl in a minor league baseball game involving the Dayton Dragons and the Peoria Chiefs the other day. Fifteen players and managers were kicked out of the game. Peoria Chiefs pitcher, Julio Castillo is in the most serious trouble. He was jailed for his part in the fight. He threw a baseball and hit a fan. He was aiming for the Dragons' dugout. No wonder he's still in the Minor Leagues.
As always, I guarantee you that next week will be filled with news that is just as silly as this week's.