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The State Of The States

by Countable | 11.20.17

What does that cloud remind you of?

Here’s how I imagine the scene playing out:

Two thirteen-year-olds are on their first date. Both are nervous in that way only thirteen-year-olds (or thirtysomething Countable writers) are on their first date. They’re lying on a blanket, looking up at the clouds.

Teen 1: …that one looks like a dragon fighting a bagel! OK, my turn to pick! What does that cloud remind you of?

Teen 2 follows Teen 1’s finger up to the sky and sees:

Teen 2: I…have a condition where I can’t look at the sky.

Well, it turns out that hormones aren’t to blame, but the military. As the BBC reported, "U.S. Navy officials have said it was ‘absolutely unacceptable’ that one of their pilots used a jet's contrail to draw a penis in the sky."

Commanders at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, near Okanogan County, Washington, have ordered an inquiry into the contrail phallus.

"It has zero training value and the aircrew is being held accountable," a Navy spokesman said.

Teen 1: Jeeze, you’re being so weird and quiet all of a sudden. I’ll just pick another random cloud…OK, that one: [points]

Raise Your Schlitz

Three Wisconsin Republicans – including the former head of the Wisconsin Tavern League – have introduced a bill to lower the drinking age to 19.

While the bill would have to pass a number of hurdles – including a federal 1984 law that says any state with a drinking age lower than 21 can lose 8 percent of federal highway funding – the bill’s sponsor is optimistic.

"At 19 years old, there are very few things that you cannot do," Rep. Adam Jarchow wrote in a memo to colleagues seeking their support. He said 19-year-olds have been a legal adult for a year, can enlist in the military and be sent thousands of miles away to war, but can’t "enjoy an alcoholic beverage."

For that reason, Republican Rep. Joel Kleefisch, a non-drinker, said he supported the measure:

"If you can sign up to give your life for this country, you ought to be able to have a beer."

"[It's] kind of like how I would imagine the difference between here and heaven."

The Smoky Mountains looked pretty…smoky to those with colorblindness. Until now. The Tennessee Department of Tourism Development has installed "colorblind-less" viewfinders at three locations with special lenses that allow those with red-green colorblindness to see the full spectrum of fall colors.

No matter what colors – or not – your eyes see, prepare tissues for them before clicking on this video:

— Josh Herman

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