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Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Mind-boggling news you may have missed

January 22. 2012 7:04PM

Sometimes the really important news items get lost in the manic maelstrom of the daily media mashup. (I understood maybe one of those last several words. I intend to look up the rest. Honest.) Meantime, a few thoughts on things you might have overlooked.

The guy, or gal, who writes the stuff for the southbound Manchester beltway sign is more polite than the northbound guy.

Since that's my money (and yours) at work on these electronic signs, I feel duty-bound to read them all, even if that means distracted driving for a few seconds. But, what the hey, my tweeting-while-driving hasn't done me any harm, yet; so as long as they don't make the e-messages too wordy, I should live.

The sign the other day had to do with safe driving (this is called irony, I believe). The southbound sign read, 'please, don't tailgate.'

Well, I thought, since you asked nice, I won't.

But the northbound sign issued only a brusque order: No tailgating.

It made my head hurt. But so did the overlooked medical story of the week.

I have been told for years that I should take a small-dose aspirin tablet each day. (I used to call these 'baby aspirin' but I also called the garage 'the barn' until my kids laughed so much I had to stop.)

Now, according to the latest study, unless you have already suffered a heart attack or stroke, taking an aspirin a day may be doing you more harm than good.

Great. Will this stuff never end? Caffeine is bad for you, except when it is good for you. Alcohol is terrible, except it can help you to live longer, which is terrible.

And I'm guessing Bode Miller wears girl's underwear.

I say this only because Bode is the world's fastest skier, which he learned by throwing himself down Cannon Mountain at an early age.

But in last week's overlooked sports story, Tina Maze, a Slovenian skier on the world circuit, unzipped her ski suit the other day to reveal a sign that said 'Not your business.'

That might be a counter-intuitive move. But she was calling attention to claims that her one-piece, plastic underwear was giving her an unfair aerodynamic advantage. Okay. The Union Leader may be willing to pay an undisclosed amount to Bode Miler for discreet photos.

Finally, last week's news of the big chill at a state building blamed a poor computer sensor for calling a wrong number when the computer detected a problem in the heating system.

Made me think of an old, biblically-grounded headline I once wrote during a particularly sharp cold snap.

'Many are cold but few are frozen.'

Write to Joe McQuaid at

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