Monday, February 22, 2010

A penny for my thoughts about the penny

If it wasn't for the radio - yes the radio - I wouldn't have known about the redesign of the penny - or the one cent piece if you're all old-timey. If it weren't for the internet, though, I wouldn't have known just how terrible its new design was.

Which leads me to an actual point. Where do most people get their news? It's been studied and rehashed on an almost daily basis. Newspapers offer up a text and photo-based approach but once a day but to get that particular breed of news in a format you can hold in your hands costs a quarter or two each and every day. Sure, you can get basically the same news as you'd get in print for free on most every newspaper's website but newspaper websites are a pain in the ass to navigate through without using their lousy search functions.

The internet is available, if you don't mind looking over your shoulder, while at work to plenty of office workers. The most accessed time for many news websites in this particular corner of Minnesota is between 11 AM and 1 PM which correlates with lunch time across the different timezones of the United States. But what do you do if you don't want to or can't access the internet for news while at work?

If you're like me, you have a crappy, barely together radio sitting at your desk. My trusty $5.99 earbuds from Menards attached to either it, my iPod or the headphone jack of my computer I keep myself not only entertained/distracted from the outside noise of the office but informed, too. Getting that information/entertainment mix is a bit of work here in the Twin Cities. I can't find a radio station I could tolerate for the course of a workday so I mix it up. I have appointments with certain stations on various parts of the dial but I actually seek out the 4:20-ish news update with Bob Collins on 89.3 The Current. Maybe it's because he has an attitude about the world that matches mine (we're all doomed) or maybe it's because his banter with Mary Lucia is genuine but whatever the case the news he mentions during those few minutes - while not always the biggest headlines - seems almost tailored to my tastes.

And without that newscast and his daily mention - via Lucia's asking - about what's on the News Cut blog, I would have never known about the morons in government with nothing better to do messing with the U.S penny. Screwing with the design of a coin which nobody already gave a damn about is equal to tax forms using a font size 1/2 point smaller than they did previously. Nobody's going to notice! Way to waste money, geniuses! And thank you Bob Collins because without your blog post mentioned on The Current, I would have never known about something most would see as trivial but something I see as wildly maddening.

The only thing more maddening that a new design for the penny is missing an update of MinnPics. Don't miss the kick-ass photos from all over Minnesota including recent name-dropping of Olympic sports. Go now and check it out and subscribe to the RSS feed or I'll write another blog post about curling.

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