Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Funday: It's Not All Going To The Dogs

There are times when even we, who work in the media, look at all the stories flashing through the headlines and wonder if the world is going to the dogs.

'Superstorm Nemo' whacking the Northeast this weekend certainly isn't helping with our mood.

From the media frenzy early this week surrounding now former Nebraska Lt. Governor Rick Sheehy, to the bombastic "Made-for TV" - but not for answers - hearings with CIA nominee John Brennan on Capitol Hill on Thursday, to the U.S. Postal Service deciding to cut Saturday service, many of the stories that have filled the headlines this week weren't exactly positive motivation for the soul.

There were even stories that scared the hell out of some of our staff - like the massive asteroid set to "buzz" Earth sometime next week.

Some local and regional media stories were a bit more positive. For example, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman's proposed reverse Robin Hood-style tax overhaul plan was greeted in the Nebraska Legislature with groans from state senators, and upturned noses from nearly all of Nebraska's business interests, large and small alike. The GOP's vote rigging attempt in Virginia also went down in flames this week - so not every story was going to the dogs.

In fact, an unusual economic indicator this week went to a cat instead.

Hasbro, the makers of the iconic 80-year old board game Monoopoly, held an online contest recently, to have fans of the game help them replace one of their legendary playing pieces. The new piece, as chosen by fans of the game was - unsurprisingly - a cat.

Fans had to pick one new playing piece from a selection including a robot, a helicopter, a guitar, a diamond ring, and of course the cat. The fans also had to choose to get rid of of one the classic pieces, and fans chose to axe the iconic iron.

Even if the iron was your favorite playing piece, there's no reason to howl about it.

International economics journalist Howard Schneider penned a piece in the Washington Post pointing to a whole pack of economic signs that show the Monopoly choice of cat over iron is actually another positive sign the economy is getting better - and not just here in America.

Voters for the Monopoly election input their digital votes from 120 different countries - and the story made news in media organizations from around the globe. If people around the world - and media organizations around the world - have the time and energy to focus on a story about playing pieces for a board game, the economy, generally, should be looking up.

Thankfully, more accurate economic indicators confirm - things are better than much of the media may have led you to believe recently, both here in the U.S. and abroad.

So enjoy the weekend - even if Superstorm Nemo has found you and snowed you in. In fact, the storm may be the perfect reason for you to pull out your own Monopoly game to play with some friends or family.

Just make sure to leave the dog token for us.

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