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On second thought

Published: Monday, Nov. 18 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

In this March 26, 2012 photo, One World Trade Center towers above the Lower Manhattan skyline and Hudson River in New York.

Mark Lennihan, Associated Press

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A lighthearted look at news of the day:

The building formerly known as the Sears Tower no longer is the tallest in the United States after construction workers put a telephone book under the new One World Trade Center in New York.

Actually, New York’s new building cleared the former Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower) by the length of a needle, or spire, on top. If it had been functional, like an antenna, its height wouldn’t have counted. Well, sure, it’s not like anyone would get up there to adjust the thing when reception was poor.

This intercity rivalry was decided by an official board of serious-looking architects. But it’s kind of a meaningless competition. Saudi Arabia is planning a structure so tall the nation has petitioned to move the moon back slightly.

The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa., officially apologized last week for an editorial in 1863 that panned President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. No word yet on whether the writer of that piece will be placed on suspension.

In his defense, the editorial writer figured Lincoln’s speech had bombed because virtually no one was tweeting about it.

The paper said, “We write today in reconsideration of ‘The Gettysburg Address.’” Apparently, the editors finally became convinced the “silly” speech just wasn’t going to fade away.

But seriously, while we’re at it, how about some other apologies for dumb things through the years? Let’s hear from the relatives of Lord Kelvin, the guy who said in 1895, "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." How about the railroads that had such loose firearms regulations in the 19th century they let people indiscriminately shoot buffalo out the window? And what about whoever invented the mullet haircut?

The Obama administration last week triumphantly announced it enrolled enough people for Obamacare last month to nearly fill a football stadium.

Continuing the metaphor, the president said, “We fumbled the rollout on this health care law.” Apparently, we’re still trying to unscramble the pile to see if he also lost possession.

Jay Evensen is associate editor of the Deseret News editorial page. E-mail him at even@desnews.com. For more content, visit his web site, www.jayevensen.com.

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