Looking to call former Maryland senator Tommy Bromwell (D)? Feel free to leave a message, but don't expect a callback. According to The Gazette , Bromwell, who entered a federal prison in Massachusetts July 1 for racketeering and tax-crime convictions, recorded this outgoing voicemail greeting: "I can't come to the phone right now because I'm in jail. If you care to leave a message, I'll call you back in six years. By the way, I'm doing okay."
If you want to amend your state's constitution, make sure you actually know what's in it. A reform group in Michigan learned that lesson the hard way. The Detroit Free Press reports a 21,000-word ballot reform proposal by Reform Michigan Government Now! refers to a non-existent section of the Michigan Constitution. The mistake may prove fatal to their proposal.
It may be a little wrong, but it looks good. South Carolina 's new "sunrise" license plates feature two stalwart symbols of the state - a palmetto tree and a waxing moon. Only problem is the image on the plate is an astronomical impossibility, the Charleston Post and Courier writes. One sharp-eyed former science teacher noticed the moon didn't look right, so she checked it out with a planetarium. Turns out, the angle of the crescent depicted on the tags does not occur at sunset in the northern hemisphere.
No smoking, no problem. People who needed a nicotine fix in Iowa were stymied when the state passed a law banning smoking in public places. Now, a new gadget lets smokers give into their addictions without breaking the law. The Des Moines Register reports the availability of electric cigarettes that simulate the taste and feel of smoking, contain nicotine, but have none of the secondhand effects of tobacco. They cost from $80 to $110, batteries included.
Calling your neighbor just got a little harder in West Virginia. Long-accustomed to living with one area code, West Virginians will soon have to start dialing those extra three digits when making a local call. The Public Service Commission voted to add a new area code to ensure the Mountain State doesn't run out of phone numbers. According to the Charleston Daily Mail, one of the biggest concerns is teaching small children to dial 10 numbers instead of seven.