Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The skinny

Who needs a bailout when you have bidders?

Used cars

Who needs a bailout when you have bidders?

An eBay seller may have inadvertently found a way to solve Detroit's problems: Get Barack Obama to pre-own all its cars. Because bidders were just going nutso for the president-elect's old 2005 Chrysler 300C, similar to the one above. Sure, it has low mileage and a ton of choice options, but the Blue Book says it's worth about $13,500. So there isn't another likely reason that bidding reached almost $100-million before the seller required bidders to gain preapproval and set a Buy it Now price of $1-million. Obama sold the car early in his campaign and bought a hybrid.


The job market expands for witches

A debt collection company in Lithuania has a new employee. But Vilija Lobaciuviene isn't an intimidating physical presence. Doesn't even have a really threatening voice. But she is the country's leading witch. And the company plans to have her use her powers to hunt down deadbeat people and companies. "I am glad someone needs my help and I will do whatever I can," she said. Others were less excited about the prospects. "If they really believe that this woman may help someone get money back, then there's something very wrong with this country," said columnist Monika Bonckute.

Higher learning

Blonds have class

Researchers at the Sorbonne in Paris will conduct a conference this weekend titled "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," with the focus being, why? "Blondness awakens desire, probably because of the ambivalence it carries, from innocence to perversion," said Marie-Camille Bouchindomme, an organizer of the conference. That probably makes sense in French. The conference will involve experts in literature, art, music and film discussing possible answers to questions including: "Why does the blonde exert such fascination and awaken so many fantasies?"

Class has porn

A college in Taiwan has a new class in which students are taught how to appreciate and analyze porn movies. It is an elective class, and students may leave if the films get too graphic, though the teacher reports that none have. One student, who asked to remain anonymous for whatever reason, said "If I get a very good score in this course, I don't know how I'll explain it to my parents." More than 50 students have signed up for the class, and most admit to having some experience watching porn.

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at

Who needs a bailout when you have bidders? 01/15/09 [Last modified: Thursday, January 15, 2009 10:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals


    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. No lack of issues facing St. Petersburg's six council candidates


    ST. PETERSBURG — The six candidates for City Council gathered Monday evening in the very chamber to which they aspire to serve.

    St. Petersburg City Council candidates (from left)  Brandi Gabbard and Barclay Harless in District 2; Jerick Johnston and incumbent council member Darden Rice in District 4; and Justin Bean and Gina Driscoll of District 6. All six candidates appeared at Monday night's forum at City Hall sponsored by the League of Women Voters. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]

  3. Iraq's Kurds vote on independence, raising regional fears


    IRBIL, Iraq — Iraqi Kurds voted Monday in a landmark referendum on supporting independence, a move billed by the Kurdish leadership as an exercise in self-determination but viewed as a hostile act by Iraq's central government. Neighboring Turkey even threatened a military response.

    People celebrate Monday after voting closed in a referendum on independence in Irbil, Iraq.
  4. North Korean diplomat says Trump has 'declared war'


    UNITED NATIONS — North Korea's top diplomat said Monday that President Donald Trump's weekend tweet was a "declaration of war" and North Korea has the right to retaliate by shooting down U.S. bombers, even in international airspace.

    North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, center, speaks outside the U.N. Plaza Hotel in New York on Monday.
  5. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]