Aniston Naked (And Other News Items)

-- The Sun-Sentinel, which never misses an excuse to link seemingly random pictures of half-naked women on its home page, hit a new low on that score over the weekend. The newspaper put up the headline: Aniston Naked. Under it was, yes, Jennifer Aniston from the latest GQ cover (it's now on the website under the "America's Favorite Pinups" link). I'm not going to lie, I clicked and found it actually be quite lovely. But what in the name of the Help Team does it have to South Florida news? Nothing, but hey, this one, unlike most the stock T & A posted by the Sentinel, made it to the most popular "stories" list. They shoot, they score. 

-- More than a month after the New York Times had the country talking about it, the Sun-Sentinel belatedly picks up on the old gun sales surge story. Here's what I think has been missed: Sure, Obama's election probably helped the firearms business, but there's another obvious reason: The shell-shocked economy. You hear people on the financial boards talking all the time about gold and guns as the only real protection against possible economic Armageddon. Bank failures, governments going broke ... a lot of people -- including a lot of smart people -- are afraid we might fall into social chaos, the Mad Max scenario. Will it happen? Probably not, but for the first time in most of our lifetimes, there's a decent chance that it could.

-- Congratulations to a colleague down south, the Miami New Times' Francisco Alvarado, for winning Journalist of the Year from the North Central Florida SPJ's Florida Awards of Excellence, uh, awards. Check here for winners, which includes a slew of NTers.

-- People are finally figuring out that Charlie Crist's big deal to buy U.S. Sugar isn't just a bad deal for Clewiston, it's a bad deal for everyone. It's simply an overpriced dog that Florida can't afford. Just-released appraisals indicate the secretive deal is overpricing U.S. Sugar's land in the Everglades by $300 million. Nice negotiating Charlie. But this isn't about good sense, it's about bad politics, so it will probably be passed this week by the water district anyway. The Sun-Sentinel's Andy Reid has been doing some fine reporting on the matter. Here's his latest.

-- Belatedly, I want to give a shout out to Megan O'Matz for her reporting on Crist's European vacation and give her my highest compliment: Damn, I wish I would have thought of that.