Cig Tossers

Ah, spring. Fresh, clean air. Crisp sunny mornings. Flowers blooming everywhere. There’s nothing like a morning walk this time of year to make you appreciate the corpse-like bouquet of a cigarette, abandoned and still burning on the sidewalk, flicked out of a car by someone who thinks that whole crying-Indian-anti-littering campaign in the 1970s doesn’t apply to them.

It’s not that I care if you smoke ’em. Not a problem. But here’s the thing: Cars are still equipped with ashtrays. What? You don’t want your car to smell like burning poop, or a hard-lived life staggering into its last hours? Then maybe you shouldn’t smoke while driving. The cliché rings true: The world is not your ashtray. Put it in your pocket. Tuck it in your shoe. Crush it out and deposit it in a trashcan when one becomes available. But don’t be a littery arsonist.

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After the Justice Department charged Apple and five publishers on April 11 with conspiring to fix prices on e-books, three of the publishers immediately settled. Apple, however, vowed to fight, portraying itself as a hero working to break Amazon’s monopoly on e-book sales and end its practice of underpricing e-books. It was a brilliant PR strategy; it was also wrong.