Morning News: Clouds, Smoke, TV and Gender Reassignment


New CloudGood morning! Care for a smoke?
If the answer to that question is yes, you’re probably not thrilled that the Senate voted yesterday to allow the Food and Drug Administration to regulate cigarettes. It will place strong restriction on the manufacture and advertising of cigarettes and give the agency power to also regulate ingredients in tobacco products. President Obama, himself a smoker, is expected to sign the bill.

As an ex-smoker myself, I think tighter regulation can’t hurt, but I am not sure how much restrictions on advertising will help. I don’t know a single person who saw a cigarette ad and said “Hey! Hand me that Marlboro!” It’s all cultural and peer-related if every musician and actor I dug as a kid hadn’t smoked along with all the cool kids I wanted to hang out with, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up.

And if you’ve flipped on the TV today and got…nothing, then you probably missed the cutoff for the digital TV transition that took place today. If you’ve got cable or one of those nifty converter boxes, you’re good; if not, get thee down to the electronics store today.

Have you ever seen those low, spooky, hanging clouds that look like the end of the world? Well, an outfit from England called the Cloud Appreciation Society is petitioning the United Nations’ World Meteorological Society to create a new cloud category, joining cumulus, cirrus, and stratus.

Changing categories hisownself is Chastity Bono. The daughter of Cher and the late Sonny Bono announced he began the sex change process earlier this year. Bono has been a longtime gay rights advocate since coming out as a lesbian decades ago, and it’s likely he’ll do the same as a transgender person.