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  1. It wasn't so funny, but Mark Ridley is laughing now

    Mark Ridley is a smart individual, but even smart men tend to be stupid when it comes to trivial details like their health and well-being.

    • 9:47 AM, Aug. 28, 2014
    • LIFESTYLE

    A different day of infamy

    World War II began on a different morning for Stan Krajewski. On our side of the ocean, the day that lives in infamy is Dec. 7, 1941. If we didn't learn it in school, we've seen it in the movies.

    • 10:35 PM, Aug. 25, 2014
    • LIFESTYLE

    '24' star Mary Lynn Rajskub brings her comedy act home to Royal Oak club

    The comedy club was full Sunday night, which meant Trenton was pretty much empty. Twenty-six members of Mary Lynn Rajskub's immediate family were in Royal Oak for the show.

    • 6:26 PM, Aug. 25, 2014
    • LIFESTYLE

    Five friends set out to cross Lake Michigan on stand-up paddleboards

    It's the sort of thought you have if you are strong and spirited and adventurous, and maybe if you've knocked back a couple of beers. You stand on the shore of Lake Michigan, look across the water and ask yourself, 'Wouldn't it be fun to cross over to the other side?' The notion had occurred, independently, to Andrew Pritchard and two of his friends from Traverse City.

    • 10:03 AM, Aug. 21, 2014
    • LIFESTYLE

    Grand bargain's a winner from a Northern Michigan perspective

    From high up the Michigan map, Paul Beachnau has an interesting perspective on the grand bargain. He likes it. From high up the Marriott Hotel at the RenCen a few weeks ago, he had an interesting perspective on Detroit. He liked that, too.

    • 1:12 PM, Aug. 19, 2014
    • LIFESTYLE

    93-year-old woman wants to fix up home she's owned for 52 years

    The neighborhood was so nice in the old days that some people didn't want Arlener Harries in it. Now she's apologizing, for the block and for the house in the middle of it she has lived in since 1962.

  2. Russia, China, slowing economy threaten Europe car sales rally

    Western Europe's car market was heading for a slow but steady recovery as sales finally hit rock bottom last year after the great recession, but evidence is mounting that even this unspectacular recovery might be in jeopardy.

    • 3:36 PM, Aug. 11, 2014
    • LIFESTYLE

    Why women don't get tickets during the Dream Cruise and men stack 'em up

    Steve Lehto will tell you that of the hundreds of drivers who came to him with their tickets for burning rubber, speeding or perhaps driving a tad recklessly, the number of women was exactly zero.

  3. With no money to burn, Detroit firehouse gets a helping hand from kickball

    It was simple in the old days. If you broke your ax, the fire department gave you a new one. These are the new days, when the city can't even supply its firehouses with fire trucks.

    • 11:57 AM, Aug. 5, 2014
    • LIFESTYLE

    Cutting corners on parking meter maintenance costs Detroit a pretty penny

    Here's how a broke city got broker: too many cheap batteries and too few new locks. The 9-volt batteries power Detroit's parking meters. The locks protect the batteries and the rest of the innards of the meters.

    • 8:40 AM, Aug. 4, 2014
    • LIFESTYLE

    Detroit: the SpaghettiOs capital of America

    We used to build more cars than anyplace else, but we don't anymore. We used to have a gold record factory on the west side of the city, but we don't anymore. Uh-oh, though, can we eat SpaghettiOs.

    • 11:53 PM, Jul. 30, 2014
    • LIFESTYLE

    Maire's journey

    Maire Kent floated off into the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday, bound for parts and adventures unknown. That was 14 days after she set sail on Lake Michigan. It was 10 months after she died.

    • 12:16 AM, Jul. 29, 2014
    • LIFESTYLE

    They vote early, and often

    Even when you're old enough to live in a retirement community, it turns out, there's peer pressure. At least at Fox Run, nobody is leaning on you to skip school. The pressure there is to vote.

  4. Bound for San Diego, Coast Guardsman's mover gets beached in Mo.

    When the driver of the moving van carrying all 15,840 pounds of your earthly possessions gets fired on his way to San Diego and abandons the trailer in some dinky town in Missouri, just shrug and take your family to dinner.

    • 12:15 AM, Jul. 24, 2014
    • LIFESTYLE

    Event encourages people to register on state donor list

    What's formally known as the Gift of Life MOTTEP Foundation's walk/run raises money and attention for the cause, and it's not too late to step in.

    • 10:59 PM, Jul. 20, 2014
    • LIFESTYLE

    I spy, you spy

    In all the snickering over the two Republican operatives who ineptly infiltrated a Democratic fundraiser, we're missing something important.

    • 12:10 AM, Jul. 17, 2014
    • LIFESTYLE

    Big or small, bankruptcy hurts

    Things would be different if her husband were still alive. No, not just different, because Sherry Kurzynowski is learning that different isn't always better.

  5. The best car photos take time, talent and an unbruised model

    For what will ultimately be one image in the glossy brochure for the 2015 SRX, not quite 20 people spent all or part of 10-1/2 hours last week in a leafy ...

    • 11:47 PM, Jul. 9, 2014
    • LIFESTYLE

    Cartoonist and author Jim Benton of Bloomfield Township is never stuck for ideas

    He's had New York Times bestsellers, shelves of awards, a Fox Kids animated series and a Hallmark movie, but he remains self-deprecating and eminently likeable.

    • 11:33 PM, Jul. 7, 2014
    • LIFESTYLE

    The lady and the tigers

    Karie Ross has been, among other things, one of the pioneering female anchors on ESPN. Now she's married to Detroit Tigers president and CEO Dave Dombrowski, ...

  6. 'Researcher' sounds like a boring occupation unless you worked for Elmore Leonard

    People used to tell Gregg Sutter he had the best job in the world. 'No,' he'd say, 'I have the second-best. But I'll take it.'

    • 11:49 PM, Jun. 30, 2014
    • LIFESTYLE

    'Don't be afraid to help'

    Michelle Wolford Ball's ears found the woman before her eyes did. She had her car windows up, and the air conditioner and radio were on. But could that be ... ...

Metro Columnist

Neal Rubin began writing his Detroit News column in June of 2000. His theoretically humorous look at life appears Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. A Michiganian since 1984, Rubin grew up in Southern California and Colorado and attended the University of Northern Colorado on a 7-card stud scholarship. He prefers dogs to cats, game shows to reality shows, and writing to actual labor. Reach him at nrubin@detnews.com

  • Favorite book: "All Quiet on the Western Front"
  • Favorite movie: "The Last Picture Show"
  • Career distinction: Banned by the World Wrestling Federation..

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