On Second Thought

Published: Monday, Feb. 24 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

Updated: Tuesday, Feb. 25 2014 5:39 a.m. MST

This photo shows the WhatsApp and Facebook app icons on an iPhone.

Patrick Sison, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

Facebook paid $19 billion last week for a startup company that employs 55 people and creates an app that essentially duplicates instant messaging. It’s called WhatsApp, which sounds very much like the question people on Wall Street were asking afterward.

WhatsApp allows users to sign on for free for one year, then charges 99 cents a year after that, and it uses no advertising. No one seems to know if has made any money. With business decisions like this, Mark Zuckerberg may soon find himself in charge of Obamacare.

Meanwhile, New York City agreed to pay $6.4 million to a man who spent 23 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. He should appeal to Mark Zuckerberg. After all, just like WhatsApp, he hasn’t done anything, either.

An initiative process is underway in California to divide the state into six new states. Smart idea. Having six bankrupt states would attract more federal bailout money.

Organizers might have a better shot at just taking certain parts of the state and petitioning to have them recognized as separate planets.

The Hubble telescope reported last week that it had discovered what was thought to be the oldest thing ever seen. But then scientists realized they had accidentally pointed the thing at earth and were looking at Keith Richards.

Or it might have been pointed at Joe Newman, the 101-year-old man in Florida who has announced he is running for Congress in the state’s 16th district. He is not running as a Republican or Democrat. Word has it he was disappointed to learn the Whig Party was no longer around.

Newman assured voters he isn’t interested in a lengthy political career. He just needs some extra money to take care of his aging parents.

Utah credit unions have launched a new program allowing people to register to vote at any credit union, even if they’re not members. And the best part? You don’t even have to know the first thing about politics, the issues or any of the candidates.

Jay Evensen is the senior editorial columnist at the Deseret News. Email him at even@desnews.com. For more content, visit his web site, jayevensen.com.

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