I’m sure it could have been worse …

… though I haven’t put much thought into how. Really, it’s not that big a deal. But, still ….

Thousands of improperly-stamped Chilean coins are in ciruclation.Government at its finest:

The general manager of the Chilean mint has been dismissed after thousands of coins were issued with the name of the country spelt wrongly.

The 50-peso coins – worth about 10 cents (6p) – were issued in 2008, but no-one noticed the mistake until late last year.

Instead of C-H-I-L-E, the coins had C-H-I-I-E stamped on them.

The coins have since become collectors’ items and the mint says it has no plans to take them out of circulation.

According to the BBC, it’s not the first time in recent years mint employees have shown a certain talent for ineptitude. Last year, two medals—one a museum piece—were mistakenly sold.

Write a punch line if you need one.

(And a tip of the hat, of course, to Mr. Ben Schott for pointing this one out to his readers.)

Metro-what? Tell me you’re … you’re not? Damn.

Those who know me are aware that I stand somewhat at odds with traditional masculine stereotypes in American culture. Thankfully, this story comes to us from overseas. Reuters says:

Men have become so openly affectionate with each other using mobile technology they’ve taken to signing off text messages to male friends with a kiss (x), giving rise to a new generation dubbed “Metrotextuals.”

New research from mobile phone firm T-Mobile reveals nearly a quarter of men (22 percent) regularly include a kiss on texts to their male mates, T-Mobile said in an emailed statement.

“Metrotextuality” is most widespread among 18-24 year old males with three quarters (75 percent) regularly sealing texts with a kiss and 48 percent admitting that the practice has become commonplace amongst their group of friends.

Nearly a quarter of this age group (23 percent) even appreciate an “x’ in a text exchange from people that aren’t close friends.

But it’s not just younger men that have become Metrotextuals — one in 10 men over 55 often completes a text to another male with a kiss, according to the poll.

The research also revealed there’s a certain etiquette within metrotextuality. A lower case “x” is the preferred sign-off for most (52 percent) compared to 17 percent for a bolder upper case X), with one in three sharing the love in a big way with multiple lower case kisses (xxx).

Look, it’s real simple: No, no, and no.

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Serious People

Ladies and gentlemen, Paul Krugman:

I do have one qualm, though, which isn’t really about Bernanke, but rather about the broader symbolism of the reappointment — namely, it unfortunately seems to be a reaffirmation of Serious Person Syndrome, aka it’s better to have been conventionally wrong than unconventionally right.

Thus, you’re not considered serious on national security unless you bought the case for invading Iraq, even though the skeptics were completely right; you’re not considered a serious political commentator unless you dismissed all the things those reflexive anti-Bushists were saying, even though they all turn out to have been true; and you’re not considered serious about economic policy unless you dismissed warnings about a housing bubble and waved off worries about future crises.

All that while praising Bernanke’s reappointment as chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Still, though, he has a point about Serious Person Syndrome. That’s the important part. Come on, Bernanke nominated for another term? Was that somehow unexpected?

So, anyway, I looked up the phrase, and aside from Schott’s Vocab, where I picked this up, the phrase isn’t largely used. The rest of the Google result is dominated by “Stiff Person Syndrome”.

So now I want to call the Bernankes and such, the Serious Person Syndrome people, well, yeah.

Never mind.