Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

No Duh: Stop Us If You've Read This Before

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

No Duh: Stop Us If You've Read This Before

Article excerpt

It's easy to be struck dumb (in the speechless rather than stupid way, or maybe both) by what newspapers present as news.

Things that seem so obvious make it onto the front page and we scratch our heads, thinking, "Are people actually surprised by that, after all this time? Doesn't that go without saying by now?"

Sometimes the newspaper even admits the lack of shock value, as in this story atop the Post-Gazette's front page Wednesday: "It may seem obvious, but now there's proof: Physical activity of moderate intensity can help older people stay mobile and independent, according to the largest clinical trial ever done on the issue."

Yes, we get it: exercise = good; lying around on couch = bad. It goes for old people, middling adults, kids, dogs, politicians, zombies, terrorists, anyone you can think of, really. They've all been studied by now, and the results are always the same.

Couldn't we have at least one story that reads: "Adults who watched an extraordinarily high amount of television and their children who excessively played video games all improved in physical conditioning and cognitive abilities compared to control groups, flummoxed university researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association today."

Earlier in the week came this Associated Press news flash out of Texas: "Authorities say rapper Wiz Khalifa has been arrested in West Texas for marijuana possession."

Hmmm, here's a young man of extreme wealth who'd been arrested for drug possession before and who, if we understand correctly, glorifies the qualities associated with marijuana in nearly every one of his popular songs. And he's -- what's this? -- actually using the stuff he rhapsodizes about? G'wan, knock me over with a bong.

We yearn to read one day: "Police with drug-sniffing dogs left the tour bus of Pittsburgh-bred rapper Wiz Khalifa empty-handed yesterday after finding only numerous bags of the leafy, green vegetable that is the subject of his latest hit, 'Kale Party (Yo, Reduce Your Cholesterol, Playaz).'"

Harrisburg is notorious for offering up these "Dog Bites Man" stories that conjure up all kinds of thoughts of the world repeating itself in "Groundhog Day. …

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