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September 1  |  
Father knows best

And another thing — get off my lawn: Child psychologist John Rosemond opines that Parents These Days should revert to the parenting methods of the 1950s, and stop worrying about damaging children's self-esteem.

Sure — and while we're at it, we might as well bring back some other features of 1950s childhood: highly flammable pajamas, lead-based paint, swats in the principal office, and standing on the back seat on...

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August 30  |  
Where the wild old things are: Rock stars Bruce Springsteen and Keith Richards both have picture books for kids coming out this fall. The Boss' book is inspired by stories his mother read to him, while Richards' is a tribute to his grandfather.

Let's hope Keith's book doesn't include an author photo, because that would give small children nightmares.

At least he wore a flag pin: That tan suit worn by President Barack Obama when...

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August 29  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Apple season: Apple has announced it will unveil new products Sept. 9. Many expect Apple to show off a new iPhone with a larger screen and possibly a smartwatch.

And after hearing the complaints of Apple users who are reluctant to upgrade when their current iPhone is perfectly fine, Apple's latest feature for the new phones sends a self-destruct signal that destroys your current phone...

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August 28  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Please return your seat to its sardine position: More airlines are pushing their seat rows closer together, robbing customers of precious legroom. One airline executive is less than sympathetic: "If you want more legroom go pay for it at another airline," said Spirit's CEO Ben Baldanza.

"Now shut up," Baldanza continued, "and put on this parachute so we can...

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August 27  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Do you want poutine with that? Burger King, the nation's second-largest burger chain, is buying Canada's Tim Horton's doughnuts chain for $11.4 billion and moving its headquarters to Canada to avoid paying U.S. corporate taxes.

Sure, Burger King will save some money, but have they seen what Canadians do with french fries?



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August 26  |  
Checks out

Nothing personal: Whole Foods Markets no longer will accept personal checks at its stores in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.

But if you leave your credit card or cash-filled coffee can at home, fear not: Whole Foods still will gladly accept your entire paycheck as payment.

What could go wrong? Tonight on "Restaurant Startup," the judges hear from a recently divorced couple who want to start an...

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August 25  |  
Wakey wakey

Who's not a morning person: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that teenagers' school days begin no earlier than 8:30 a.m., because forcing them to get up at the crack of dawn causes poor health, bad grades and car crashes.

And that's just for the teens. For their parents, side effects of early school starts can include chronic nagging syndrome, uneaten breakfast disorder, and uncontrollable repetition of...

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August 23  |  
Critic nixes flixLimited engagement: Movie critic Leonard Maltin will halt production of his movie guide next year with the 36th edition of his book. Maltin cited an “alarming decline” in readership because of the prevalence of online reviews (Page D4).That, and he wanted to get out before he had to review another soul-sucking “Transformers” sequel.

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August 22  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
I'm afraid I can't quite believe that, Dave: A computer projection gives the Seattle Mariners a 45.7 percent chance of making the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons.

Those are pretty good odds, considering that the first time the words "Seattle Mariners" were entered into the computer, it choked on the data and began laughing in binary code.



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August 21  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Blue ribbon ideas: The Evergreen State Fair, looking to reduce the amount of trash hauled to the landfill, will encourage people to use recycling bins set up throughout the fairgrounds and will also examine what is thrown out to determine the effectiveness of the program.

We think the fair could cut down on waste by:

Handing out returnable growler jugs at the Purple Cow stand;

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August 20  |  
Parting company: Steve Ballmer is stepping down from the Microsoft board, ending a 34-year association with the Redmond-based software giant.

Ballmer said he plans to devote more time to his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers, teaching a business class at Stanford, making housing arrangements for talented basketball players at Lakeside School, and determining just how many zeroes he needs to write on a check to get Jack Nicholson to shift his...

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August 19  |  
Little Dysfunctional House: Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the beloved "Little House on the Prairie" series for children, also wrote a much grittier autobiography that depicted the dark side of frontier living: domestic abuse, love triangles gone wrong, drunkards lighting themselves on fire.

For the screen version, Mickey Rourke is in talks for Michael Landon's old role as Pa.

Little Red Corvette: The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette can be ordered with a...

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August 18  |  
Vacation interruptus: President Barack Obama is interrupting his vacation on Martha's Vineyard on Monday for meetings in D.C. with Vice President Joe Biden.

The White House won't say why Obama needed to fly back to D.C., but The Buzz figures first lady Michelle Obama must have objected to seeing a Bermuda shorts-clad Biden on the Vineyard beaches.

"Sopranos," with horse and buggy: Pennsylvania's governor is asking the Discovery Channel to drop its...

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August 16  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in: The Tacoma Dome this weekend is hosting CannaCon, a retail convention of marijuana-related products, seeking to take advantage of cannabis' now legal status in Washington state. Organizers stress that the convention is strictly business. No space is being set aside for smoking or otherwise consuming marijuana.

All the same, tickets for the nosebleed...

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August 15  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
"I am not an animal animal!" Inspired by filmmaker David Lynch's 1980 movie, "The Elephant Man," Nick Rhodes, of '80s pop band Duran Duran, sought out Lynch to direct its upcoming concert film. Lynch obliged, but insisted it be shot in black and white.

Duran Duran resisted further "Elephant Man" inspiration when Lynch suggested the band members wear...

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August 14  |  
Fido, go to your room: Luxury home builders in California and Florida now offer pet suites as large as 170 square feet, about the size of a large bedroom. They're equipped with walk-in bathing tubs, dog hair dryers, automated feeding stations and much more.

Even so, the truly pampered pooch won't be happy until his masters spring for the optional fire hydrant comfort station, chewable $200 Italian leather loafers, and jumbo-size hole in the fence between...

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August 13  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Does the FDA consider this a serving of fruit? Saturday's Everett Craft Beer Festival is featuring several beers brewed with fruit, including Valholl's Crimson Cove Smoked Cherry Rye and Fremont's Raspberry Infused Dark Star. Beers brewed with fruit, like Belgian kriek lambic made with sour cherries, have a long history.

Before the more budget-conscious among us head for the fridge,...

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August 12  |  
Old folks these days: With the growing acceptance of body art, we're seeing tattoos even on older people, such as the woman who had her grandkids' names inked on a leg.

The Buzz is waiting for the grouchy old guy across the street to get a bangin' "Get Off My Lawn" neck tattoo.

More partisan food fights maybe? Al-Jazeera America has won high marks for its journalism during its first year on the air, but no one's watching. Viewership has averaged...

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August 11  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Channel-surfing the vast cultural wasteland: Hollywood hunk Channing Tatum is released into the woods in tonight's episode of "Running Wild With Bear Grylls." What savage wilderness must Tatum survive for two nights? Yosemite National Park.

Using only their wits, a compact mirror — Tatum's — and a spork, the pair must start a fire for an evening ranger talk,...

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August 9  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Channel-surfing the vast cultural wasteland: The Weather Channel is launching a new reality series, "Fat Guys in the Woods," which drops obese men into the wild and has them fend for themselves, building shelter, starting a fire and hunting for food.

With every channel breaking into reality shows, we suggest that C-SPAN give us "Congress in a Representative...

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August 8  |  
Tech trek: In order to enjoy nature, some outdoor enthusiasts are finding it necessary to spend up to $10,000 on luxury equipment like cook stoves that double as cellphone chargers (Page A11).

If this keeps up, the hikers will be better equipped than the search and rescue teams they'll call with those charged cellphones when they get themselves in trouble.

Take off, eh: Speaking of luxury goods, America's high-end retailers are...

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August 7  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
One potato, no potato: Retaliating for U.S. and Western European sanctions related to the Ukraine crisis, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced an import ban on all U.S. agricultural products. Russia relies heavily on Western food imports, particularly in Moscow.

Following the announcement, customers quickly cleared supermarket shelves of Borscht Helper, and the Moscow McDonald's...

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August 6  |  
Super-size what? In the wake of the expired-beef scandal in China, McDonald's in Japan have begun selling tofu McNuggets, and writer L.V. Anderson says she thinks that's a grand idea that should be rolled out in the United States.

To which The Buzz says: OK, but only at select McDonald's in Seattle, Portland and Brooklyn — and certainly not in any states with open-carry laws.

Job security: Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century...

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August 5  |  
Bush league: In "4th and Loud," a new reality series on AMC, sixtysomething arena rockers Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of Kiss purchase an Arena Football League team and try to bring their brand of flashy entertainment to the sport.

Talk about synergy: Has-been rock stars owning a football team with a roster of never-will-be players.

And that's the word: The official Scrabble dictionary is getting 5,000 new words, including four new two-letter...

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August 4  |  
An acoustic guitar played by Elvis Presley on his final tour before his death in 1977 is at the center of a custody battle between a museum in South Dakota and a collector in Tennessee.

Since the guitar dates from the sweat-soaked jumpsuit period of The King's career, Judge Buzz hereby rules against both parties and orders that it shall be relocated to its true home: Las Vegas.

Don't know a Tardis from a Time Lord: The season premiere of "Doctor...

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August 2  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Not with a "Bang," but a whimper: Production of CBS's hit show, "The Big Bang Theory," has been delayed by a contract dispute with its top actors, who are seeking a significant salary boost.

The actors, who portray brilliant but nerdy physicists and engineers, also are demanding that the bullies on the cast of "NCIS: Los Angeles" stop taping...

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August 1  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
This a Great! Great! album: After recording a duet with Tony Bennett in 2011 for his Grammy-winning "Duets II" album, art-pop singer and meat dress model Lady Gaga returned to the studio for a full album of duets with the 87-year-old crooner. The album of jazz standards, "Cheek to Cheek," will be released Sept. 23.

Anybody else a little concerned about the cover...

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July 31  |  
But watch out for lightning: A man has won two $1 million jackpots in the past three months in Indiana's lottery.

Not sure if the guy still needs to work for a living, but if he does, he might consider hiring himself out as a surrogate lottery ticket buyer.

"Body" of evidence: A jury has ruled that former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura was libeled by slain military sniper Chris Kyle's autobiography, which claimed Kyle punched out Ventura for talking...

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July 30  |  Jon Bauer, Herald staff
Hell-bent for leather: The U.S. surgeon general is warning of a 200 percent jump in deadly skin cancer cases since 1973, specifically blaming sunbathing and indoor tanning beds as the greatest threat. "We need to ... shatter the myth that tanned skin is somehow a sign of health," a federal health official said.

For the fashion conscious, that means pasty white is the new...

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July 29  |  
Snark attack

Just when you thought it was safe to watch TV again: "Sharknado 2: The Second One," a sequel to last summer's campfest, airs Wednesday on the SyFy network.  After chomping on Los Angeles in the first movie, the shark-storm takes a bite of the Big Apple this time around.

When it comes time to make "Sharknado 3," The Buzz hopes the filmmakers opt for gritty realism and have the shark...

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