In the Loop

In the Loop: May 16, 2008 Archive

How are Americans handling their stimulus check?

Posted at 10:15 AM on May 16, 2008 by Sanden Totten

The check is in the mail . . . or for many Americans, already in the pocket. What are we doing with the money?

Buying ponies. Or getting our teeth pulled. Or investing it in really awesome arcade games.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. If you are hard up for creative ideas on how to spend your check, click over to How I Spent My Stimulus. It's a running commentary from average citizens on how they plan to stimulate (or not) the economy. It's also like reading a mini-novel on someone's life situation, like this entry.

Much like the comments for our recent YouTube video, folks are stopping by to discuss and diss (mostly diss) the whole idea of stimulus checks. Still, people seem more than happy to get the money. And you really shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth . . . or a gift pony.

These gas prices are freakin' ridic...Ooh, it's PumpCast!

Posted at 3:59 PM on May 16, 2008 by Jeff Horwich

So I was driving around the other night at 12:30 looking for an open gas station (the band and I were "rehearsing" -- with beers -- until way too late as usual on a Tuesday night) and I finally found working pumps at a station I don't normally use.

Gas was $3.73. Crazy.

I started pumping my gas, and suddenly a glitzy TV screen springs to life on the pump, with the KSTP Channel 5 "PumpCast." While a quick Google search reveals this is not brand new, I'd never seen anything like it. It felt a little like "Back To The Future."

Maybe more like "Idiocracy."

You see, the idea is to cram something vaguely like an entire newscast into the time it takes you to fill your tank. And the results are comical. My favorite was probably the movie segment. I'm not making this up:

Hi there, I'm Rusty Gatenby with the latest movie news. "Prince Caspian: The Chronicles of Narnia" is out. It's the sequel to the first Narnia movie. I saw it the other day, and I have to tell you -- it's pretty good.

And that's it. He doesn't even say goodbye. Then on to the headlines, weather, etc. Followed by an ad for corn dogs. It's a breadth-to-depth ratio of infinity.

Is news like this worth anything? Maybe momentary distraction from the dollars you're pumping out of your wallet these days.

When I went out looking for more info on PumpCast, I didn't find anything legimate (KSTP doesn't even mention the service on its web site). I did, however, find that some good fun has been had with the PumpCast concept.

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