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Our beloved ruler, Cat, dies at 18

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Her kingdom wasn't vast. Her subjects weren't numerous. But Cat inspired the sort of devotion in her people that would make Earth's lesser monarchs sick with envy. Cat, the beloved feline and supreme ruler of our household, died peacefully Wednesday at a veterinary facility in Rio Linda, California. She was 18 years old. It's difficult for most Americans to understand the grief that strikes when a beloved monarch dies. Our family now understands it all too well. Apart from small gestures of affection, we subjects were generally forbidden to shower Cat with our love. Even so, she would never let us feel even for a moment that we were unloved. Cat watched over us all. She would appear as if by magic, always there to provide comfort when one of her subjects needed her. Cat had a way of knowing you could use some company before you  even realized it yourself. I joined the royal family by marriage, of course, to Cat's human servant. "We're a package deal,"

How Twitter (not a President) could start World War III

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I work in TV news, an industry that gets a lot of crap (much of it deserved) for ginning up fear to attract attention. And yet, we seemed to have mostly moved on after something that really is  worth being terrified about. This week we got a legitimately horrifying look at perhaps one of the dumber ways the world could end. Not with a bang, but with a... Well... This: Now: The president's personal twitter account @realDonaldTrump appears to be gone. Both on phone & desktop. #9news pic.twitter.com/XiqsLOXXl3 — Brandon Rittiman (@BrandonRittiman) November 2, 2017 In all, this lasted 11 minutes of our Thursday, briefly sparking all kinds of theories which varied depending on peoples' politics: "I bet the liberals who run Twitter are trying to censor him!" "Did he actually delete his account? Oh what a wonderful world it'll be now!" I wish it was one of those things. I really do. Because the truth-- at least as Twitter tells

Our EV costs 73% less to drive than our Jeep

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The per-mile cost of driving our two cars To the dismay of internet trolls, I chose to drive my new electric car instead of returning it to the dealership or smashing it for scrap metal. And guess what? It's a HELLUVA lot cheaper to drive than our other car: 72.8 percent cheaper, to be exact. RELATED: Haters be hatin' on my cheap new EV I'll do the math on this below so you can see my methodology and update a few more things I've learned driving this car for a month as well. We recently became the unlikely owners of a Nissan Leaf, thanks to a combination of private incentives and government tax credits in Colorado that slashed the effective pre-tax price of the car to $9,400 in our case. (The $10,000 Xcel customer incentive expires June 30.) Our electric bills RELATED: How to get a new EV for under $10,000 The first month's power bill is in: driving this car for my daily commute and around-town errands for the month raised our electric bill ab

Haters be hatin' on my cheap new electric car

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They say "never read the comments," but what fun is that? I recently bought a new Nissan Leaf, an all-electric car-- even though we set out to buy a used gas car. Me, having a sad, after realizing the trolls are right. I managed to get the new electric car for an effective pre-tax price of $9,474. That sounded a lot better than the used 2015 gas cars I was finding with 30,000+ miles on them for $10,000-$13,000. As I explained in the story I wrote for 9NEWS, we ended up with the new electric car instead because several incentives made it cheaper: we got a $10,000 discount for Xcel energy customers (only applies to the Leaf,) a $7,500 federal EV tax credit that we won't see until we file next year's return, and a $5,000 state of Colorado EV tax credit that dealers can now apply to the purchase price. A new Nissan Leaf. The story contained an entire section on reasons not to buy this car-- essentially that it's not practical for severe weather

The reporter who saved a guy and caught crap for it

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Campion assists the man from a safer depth. (KTRK) KTRK reporter Steve Campion ended up doing a lot more than his day job during flooding in Houston-- he saved a man's life in the middle of a live broadcast. If you haven't seen the video, go watch here . It's really something. And yet, somehow, the internet has found it to be very important that Campion be shamed for his tone w hile rescuing the man. Campion hollered to the man to swim from his sinking car. The video shows that the victim began to understand Campion's instructions and eventually did begin to swim-- a move that may well have saved his life. But numerous bloggers (apparently self-appointed experts in swift water rescue) couldn't help but remark that Campion seemed "annoyed" during the rescue. Indeed, Campion does seem flustered while yelling back and forth with the confused driver, who had trouble understanding Campion's advice to abandon his sinking car. The victim

How Cam the Ram got political with a bull

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Cam the Ram in TV ad for question 2C. (Source: A Smart Deal for Denver) It flashes by so quickly, most TV viewers in Colorado might not give it a second thought. Cam the Ram, the mascot for Colorado State University athletics, appears on screen for two seconds of a 30-second political ad asking voters to vote in favor of extending a tourism tax to benefit the area around the National Western Stock Show complex. He's there because CSU stands to gain a new Agricultural facility as part of the master plan that ballot question 2C would help to fund. While working on a Truth Test of the ad for 9NEWS on Monday, I wondered how it came to be that CSU would participate in a political ad this way. In similar circumstances, local school district officials are loathe to appear as though they are campaigning in favor of bond issue questions, even if they think the measures are vital. So, we asked CSU what made it okay to use Cam on camera. "In August, the CSU

"WEED got that b-roll!"

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A presumably normal woman, blowing marijuana smoke. (Image: DPA) After celebrating some victories on the ballot, marijuana advocates have another issue to blunt: They want pot to be seen as a substance that normal, everyday people do. Which is what sparked a new high in pro-marijuana public relations. I give you: the marijuana b-roll project. Put this in your pipe and smoke it: Yes, the puns in this post are on purpose. This is all supposed to be in good fun. B-roll is TV shorthand for footage that can be shown while somebody talks. The Drug Policy Alliance is (fairly, I think) sick of, in their words: "watching cheesy b-roll footage of textbook stoners for every television news story about marijuana." What they offered is an amusing, too-perfect collection of 21 clips of people buying and using marijuana-- which brings back fond memories of the infamous " we got that broll " YouTube sketch: 1. He's helping, but looks like grandma's teach