The week that was: 01/26/14

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Cool funding

Jamaica's bobsled team, which gained "Cool Runnings" film fame with its entry in the 1988 Winter Olympics, was facing a financial roadblock on its way to Sochi. Sled driver Winston Watts told The Associated Press that the team needed $80,000 -- and needed it quick -- to cover costs for travel and equipment. Up stepped a man named Lincoln Wheeler, reportedly with no previous connection to the team, who started a grass-roots fundraising drive on the website that took off faster than a two-man sled. Last week the site announced it had raised $115,000, with donations coming from all 50 states and 49 countries. It was more than enough to set up a possible "Cool Runnings" sequel.

How about 'Snowmagetgone'?

No catchy monikers such as "Snowmageddon" this time, but a 1,000-mile snowstorm snarled traffic in the Northeast -- both on land and in the air -- with the Philadelphia-Boston corridor hit particularly hard. Western Pennsylvania, though plenty cold, got off easier but we will all pay: Because of the storm, Bloomberg News reported that natural gas futures climbed to their highest price in nearly four weeks.

Going, going ...

It took three years to build but less than four years after its 2009 opening, the August Wilson Center for African American Culture may go up for sale. Conservator Judith Fitzgerald last week recommended that the $39.5 million center be sold to pay off its near-$10 million debt, saying there is "simply no possibility of continued viability."

We're not getting any cleverer

The security website has released a list of the worst passwords of 2013 -- that is, the most common (and most easily hacked) passwords found on the Internet. Once again, "123456" battled it out for the top spot with "password." Variations of the sequential numbers ("12345678," for example, as well as "123456789" and"1234") claimed eight of the top 25 most common passwords, with "111111" and "000000" in two other slots.

Diverging from those mainstays at No. 4 was a nonstop ride down the upper keyboard with "qwerty," followed by "abc123." No. 9 was 'iloveyou" and "letmein" came in at No. 14.

One rising stock password, up four slots from last year, was "password1" while "trustno1" took the biggest fall, from No. 12 to No. 24.

Steve Twedt: or 412-263-1963.

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