Gary Rotstein’s Morning File: This douse of news should feel no better than an ice bucket

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Once more, sum­mer has flown by faster than a car speed­ing up as soon as it clears the in­bound Squir­rel Hill Tun­nel. A lot has hap­pened in the news, not all of it good (now there’s a shocker), and it’s time to see how well you’ve been fol­low­ing it with a news quiz.

1. Why are so many peo­ple dous­ing them­selves with ice wa­ter buck­ets and pub­li­ciz­ing it on pub­lic vid­eos?

a. It is a new and valu­able source of fund­rais­ing and aware­ness for a se­ri­ous dis­ease, one that is much eas­ier to ab­bre­vi­ate or as­so­ci­ate with a fa­mous base­ball player than to spell out or pro­nounce.

b. It is a cheaper way of beat­ing the sum­mer heat than pay­ing gas, toll and hous­ing costs for a place at the shore.

c. It is a good op­por­tu­nity for ce­leb­ri­ties to get at­ten­tion, be­cause our is­sues-ob­sessed cul­ture oth­er­wise just seems to ig­nore them al­to­gether.

d. Ev­ery­one misses the cold, brac­ing ex­treme of last win­ter’s po­lar vor­tex and wants to du­pli­cate it.


2. Two Pitts­burgh Steel­ers run­ning backs were al­leg­edly smok­ing mar­i­juana in their car on McKnight Road in Ross shortly be­fore the team was to fly to Phil­a­del­phia for an ex­hi­bi­tion game. What ex­plains this?

a. They were stag­ing a pub­lic pro­test of state laws that pre­vent them from do­ing what their peers on the Den­ver Bron­cos and Se­at­tle Se­a­hawks are able to do le­gally.

b. It is the best way they know of to tol­er­ate the pain and con­cus­sions in­flicted by the con­stant hit­ting in the NFL.

c. It was their first time, and they didn’t in­hale. Hon­est.

d. Be­ing from out of town, it is the only method they have come across that makes it feel re­lax­ing to drive on McKnight Road.


3. The Cor­bett ad­min­is­tra­tion con­tin­ued to pay a higher ed­u­ca­tion con­sul­tant his for­mer sal­ary as state sec­re­tary of ed­u­ca­tion, de­spite his hav­ing lit­tle record of emails or meet­ings with the gov­er­nor or in­ter­ac­tion with uni­ver­sity of­fi­cials. What was the con­sul­tant do­ing to earn his money be­fore feel­ing pres­sure to re­sign?

a. Devel­op­ing a strat­egy to re­duce tu­i­tion costs at Penn­syl­va­nia’s state-re­lated and state-owned uni­ver­sities, which are among the high­est in the coun­try for pub­lic schools.

b. Plan­ning new hous­ing op­tions for grad­u­ates of Penn­syl­va­nia schools and uni­ver­sities so they can be re­tained in the state with­out liv­ing in their par­ents’ base­ments.

c. Pre­par­ing a state ac­tion plan in­tended to get a Penn­syl­va­nia school’s foot­ball team into the NCAA’s new play­off sys­tem.

d. Not a whole heck of a lot, ap­par­ently.


4. A 13-year-old girl from Phil­a­del­phia made the cover of Sports Il­lus­trated while pitch­ing in the Lit­tle League World Ser­ies and nearly lead­ing her team to the se­ries’ U.S. cham­pi­on­ship. What does this say about the prog­ress of young fe­males in mod­ern so­ci­ety?

a. Regard­less of gen­der, age, race, creed or color, there is al­ways a place for an in­di­vid­ual who pos­sesses su­per­hu­man ath­letic tal­ents in Amer­ica.

b. The pos­si­bil­ity of Hil­lary Clin­ton be­com­ing the first woman pres­i­dent has in­spired all kinds of achieve­ments by fe­males, just as Barack Obama’s elec­tion of­fered a lot of hope to peo­ple with big ears.

c. It is just a mat­ter of time be­fore a woman is pitch­ing in the Pirates bull­pen, and it would be a good idea if they could speed things up so one is ready this Sep­tem­ber.

d. For a few years be­fore they de­velop into swim­suit mod­els, there are other ways young women can get at­ten­tion.


5. The Penn­syl­va­nia Pub­lic Util­ity Com­mis­sion has backed off its re­sis­tance to ride-shar­ing al­ter­na­tives and is al­low­ing Lyft and Uber to com­pete with tra­di­tional taxis in the Pitts­burgh area. How will this af­fect lo­cal trans­por­ta­tion?

a. People with­out cars who want to go some­where other than the air­port will now have the op­tion to do so with­out tak­ing a bus.

b. You don’t have to be stuck in tun­nel traf­fic in your own car any­more; you can do it in some­one else’s car.

c. If you want to have some­one else drive you some­where, now you have to pre­tend to be even friend­lier and more in­ter­ested in small talk than was ever the case with a Yel­low Cab driver.

d. For the first time in your life, you have have to think twice be­fore put­ting a pink mus­tache on your car, as peo­ple might start ask­ing you for rides.

Gary Rot­stein: grot­stein@post-ga­ or 412-263-1255.

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