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Published: Sunday, September 29, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
The Lighter Side of the News

Hey, smartphone, what's ailing me?

  • Yui Kashima, left, and Nobuhiko Matsuda aren't demonstrating one of 17,000 available smartphone medical apps, but rather are just waiting to purchase ...

    Associated Press

    Yui Kashima, left, and Nobuhiko Matsuda aren't demonstrating one of 17,000 available smartphone medical apps, but rather are just waiting to purchase a new iPhone outside a store in Tokyo on Friday.

Did you hear the rumor that Siri is dating some old, rich, rotary phone?: Let's dial up some headlines:
•"FDA lays out rules for some smartphone health apps": Such as: Always clean your phone before and after using it as a medical device. (Kidding. Everyone knows those things are self-cleaning. )
But really, the FDA has a lot of screening to do: Industry analysts estimate there are already more than 17,000 medical applications available, ranging from calorie counters to high-tech heart monitors. Gosh, what a gift for professional hypochondriacs, who before could only dream of having 17,000 possible conditions/tests in the palm of their hand.
•"Is 25 the new cut-off point for adulthood?": Because age 18 "doesn't quite ring true" the article alleges. It seems odd that with puberty arriving at earlier and earlier ages for both girls and boys, that the onset of "adulthood" would need to arrive later and later...
(Or is it all just so baby boomers can say 60 is the new 40?)
•"iPhone users drive onto runway in Alaska": Siriously?
"Robinson Cano wanted $300 million deal": (The New York Yankee wanted a deal to exceed Alex Rodriguez's record $275 million deal.) Since athletes in general, and baseball players in particular, tend to be a superstitious lot, you'd think that it would dawn on them, after example after example, that whoever has the latest, biggest, best-est, deal in sports history, is cursed to flame out not long afterward. Oh. Wait. Doh! Maybe it would dawn on team owners...
"Wonder bread returns to store shelves": And due to its magical ingredients, merchants were able to put back any loaves left over from the now-defunct Hostess brand, which stopped making the bread a year ago.
"Burger King launching lower-calorie French fry": It's lower calorie because it's a single "fry"? Or is that like when clothing catalogues refer to pants in the singular? ("You'll love our new velour pull-on pant. They have plenty of give when you indulge in a fry.") (One would think that all pants are pull-on, since, well, they are, but it actually refers to a pant that doesn't have a zipper...)
"'Afternoon naps' aid children's learning": Stop-the-presses "discoveries" such as this routinely cause members of the grandmother community to sigh and roll their eyes at what used to be accepted child-raising wisdom. (But they don't roll their eyes for too long, lest they stay that way...)
Rarely is the question asked: Is our children napping? Keep your security blanket close this week.
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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