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: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1255.