No, CTA, hot-selling prepaid transit card is not a model program

Are more U.S. college students daily tokers than smokers? #cough #MarginCall

It took just four hours to sell out 15,000 limited-edition prepaid public transportation cards in Taipei, Taiwan. Each pictured a clothed Yui Hatano, the Japanese star of "Unfaithful Wife Who Tempts Her Father-in-Law" and other adult films. Note to cash-strapped CTA: No. Just no.

For the first time, University of Michigan's latest annual Monitoring the Future study found more U.S. college students using marijuana daily or near-daily than smoking traditional cigarettes with the same frequency. Almost takes your breath away.

Australian media — straight-faced, it seems — report thousands there have embraced bartering, using beer and hard liquor as currency for goods and services. The deals are supposedly arranged via private, members-only Facebook pages. If true, forget the bitcoin. Hello drunkcoin.

"Perth's multiple beer economy Facebook pages do a roaring trade in a permanently liquid market," said The Australian newspaper. Beer-money barter may be legal in Australia, but failure to pay appropriate taxes for exchanged goods with real cash isn't. As if the hangover weren't bad enough.

Bob Sirott is out as a midday host at WGN-AM 720. Wait. Didn't we run that story in 2010?

In Quebec's Gaspe area, home to about 140,000, CBC reports retailers accept Canadian paper currency sliced in two. Each piece is half the original's $5, $10 and $20 value but must stay local as others elsewhere prefer whole bills, favoring business with the half-nots rather than the halves.

Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner is suing Hasbro, alleging a hamster toy named "Harris Faulkner" is demeaning and harms her credibility. There's probably a Donald Trump-Megyn Kelly comment to be made involving "Clue" and "Sorry," but let's move on.

Freddie King, born 81 years ago Thursday, was a hard-living blues guitar great. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, who died at 42, influenced Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Carlos Santana. Because of Grand Funk Railroad's "We're an American Band," some may also know "poker's his thing."

Twitter @phil_rosenthal

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