This is shocking. Idaho has traffic?

OK, that headline seems dramatic until you see the details:

The annual Idaho Potato Drop that will be at midnight on January 1st and is expected to draw more than 5,000 people to downtown Boise.

This shows you how deserted America is from the Dakotas to Idaho, where 5000 people is a crazy large crowd that impacts everyone’s lives. I live in a small town you never heard of (Grand Chute, Wisconsin), and we have more people than that at in our mall at busy times, maybe every day! Our general area, a bunch of towns and small cities from Oshkosh to Green Bay, has as many people as the entire state of Wyoming. We think we live in Podunk, USA, but we’re big city folk compared to the residents of Wyoming! Not that I really care, except for the fact that Wyoming has two senators.

“Are super-yachts the best places to keep your art collection?”

I’m thinking that The Art Newspaper must have the most upscale demographics in history: people who own both super-yachts and priceless art masterpieces. The good news is that they reach a highly targeted audience for their advertisers. The bad news is that the audience in question consists of only four guys. Still … if you’re selling private luxury jets, those are the four guys you want to reach.

For 30 years I’ve been obsessed by why children get leukaemia. Now we have an answer

The answer is complex, of course, and envolves a combination of genetic and envioronmental factors, but the most eye-catching part of his solution is that some people keep their homes too clean!

“‘For an immune system to work properly, it needs to be confronted by an infection in the first year of life,’ says Greaves. Without that confrontation with an infection, the system is left unprimed and will not work properly.

And this issue is becoming an increasingly worrying problem. Parents, for laudable reasons, are raising children in homes where antiseptic wipes, antibacterial soaps and disinfected floorwashes are the norm. Dirt is banished for the good of the household.

In addition, there is less breast feeding of infants and a tendency for them to have fewer social contacts with other children. Both trends reduce babies’ contact with germs. This has benefits – but also comes with side effects. Because young children are not being exposed to bugs and infections as they once were, their immune systems are not being properly primed.”

You think of elite male college athletes as guys who probably won’t graduate. This is a new wrinkle: guys who have already graduated.

When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Active undergraduates have to balance football with their class schedules. Guys who have already graduated can take one easy pass/fail course like “Using the Library,” an undemanding schedule allowing them to practice and work out all day every day.

Some of my old college buddies from Jersey used to say: “I got yer ______ right here,” accompanied at the pronunciation of “here” by a pantomimed unfurling of loins. We simple folk, lacking Roger Goodell’s hifalutin’ manners, called it “grabbing your crotch.”

Also during my college years, while in Miami for spring break, I saw the great rock group, Pantomimed Unfurling of Loins, open for the Doors. Oh, wait. I think the 60s drugs have confused me. It was actually Jim Morrison himself who unfurled his loins.

And if memory serves, there was no pantomime.

Final NFL standings

The Eagles and Colts snuck in at the last minute. Both teams are hot.

* The Eagles won 5 of their last six and finished off by pummeling Washington 24-0 while the Vikings were getting their asses handed to them.

* The Colts came back from a horrible 1-5 start, winning 9 of their last 10.

The Chargers got the worst deal. They lost the division on a deep tiebreaker. Based on that same tiebreaker, the Chiefs got a first round bye and the permanent home field advantage, while the Chargers, with the same record, got a mere wild card slot.

As my dad used to say, “them’s the breaks.”

ESPN’s playoff preview