Do you ever see a piece of news and a resounding “yes” is your reaction? On the other hand, does an item elicit a shocked ”oh no” sometimes? This “yes and no” yo-yo can drive you crazy, but it does make life more interesting. 


Since this is National Women's History Month, a couple of “yes” developments merit attention. Both deal with sports, which is appropriate given the attendance records being set at women's sports events. 


Last week, the first stadium built specifically for a National Women’s Soccer League team opened in Kansas City, Missouri. “Traditionally, women’s sports teams rent out stadiums or play in the ones built for men’s teams.”


It's likely that this will be the beginning of a trend. “The enthusiasm represents the increasing interest in women’s athletics from sports fans of both sexes. Forbes reported last October that viewership for the 2023 Women’s World Cup set records and sports bars airing only women’s athletics are offering fans public places to gather.” (


One of those sports bars just debuted. “Women's sports are on the rise, gaining more visibility, fans and TV money. That growing demand took an interesting new step when the first sports bar in the Midwest exclusively for women’s sports — and only the fourth in the nation —  opened in Minneapolis.”


The “Bar of Their Own” is pretty cool. “Inside, photos of local and national athletic icons line the bar's walls, along with twelve televisions. There’s a signed poster from the Rockford Peaches — the Illinois women’s baseball team that inspired the 'A League of Their Own' movie.” (


Not all the news is a “yes” for women. There are cases where “no” is a reality. A WalletHub study determined the best and worst states for women. “In 2024, women in some parts of America still get the short end of the stick.” 


Counting down the bottom of the ratings: Missouri, Georgia, Wyoming, West Virginia, Arkansas, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Michigan was in the middle of the pack in twenty-fourth place. (


If you're a Fido fan, there is an encouraging bit of “yes” research. “Plenty of research has investigated the bond between humans and dogs, demonstrating that canine companions can improve people’s moods, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Just looking dogs in the eye may even boost levels of oxytocin, a hormone associated with feelings of love and trust.”


Even tripping over a dog's toy can be beneficial. “The researchers found that participants' alpha brain waves, which indicate stability and relaxation, became stronger when they played with a dog using squeaky toys.” (


Also on the pet front, a headline probably would get a vociferous “no” from most people. “Pet food companies employ human taste testers” is not a job many folks seek. 


It takes a unique individual to take on this task. “Human pet-food testers have a job that inspires a certain degree of stomach-churning. The products need to be taken into the mouth for tasting, and while some testers claim to actually enjoy eating the food, most simply spit it out after chewing for several seconds.”


Given this, though, the pay isn't too shabby. “Salaries can soar to over $100K for experienced testers.” Still, you go first. I'll hold your water dish. (


In libation news, Michigan accomplished a big “yes” on the national stage. “USA Today has named Grand Rapids the best beer city in America once again as part of their 'Ten Best Readers' Choice' of 2024.” GR has captured this title four years in a row. 

The ten best beer cities in America are:  Grand Rapids, MI; Milwaukee, WI; Columbus, OH; Fort Collins, CO; Richmond, VA; Jacksonville, FL; Indianapolis, IN; Asheville, NC; Philadelphia, PA; and Santa Rosa, CA. (


That Michigan “yes” is counterbalanced with some global news of an epic “no” disaster. There's a chocolate crisis! “ Major African cocoa plants in Ivory Coast and Ghana have stopped or cut processing because they cannot afford to buy beans, meaning chocolate prices around the world are likely to soar.” 


Oh, the horror of it all! “Chocolate-makers have already increased prices to consumers. Chocolate-makers cannot produce chocolate using raw cocoa and rely on processors to turn beans into butter and liquor that can be made into chocolate.

But the processors say they cannot afford to buy the beans.”


Run to the store. Stock up on those chocolate Easter bunnies. “Already, chocolate-makers have raised prices, up almost twelve percent over 2022.” (


Finally, something that can be a “yes” or “no” depending on your point of view. The Merrium-Webster dictionary gives us a “Great Big List of Beautiful and Useless Words.” They note the words are wonderful, obscure, and often quite pointless. (


In this regard, I might be described as an anonymuncule. That's an insignificant writer who supplies narratives or current events. Other words on the list are: ltracrepidarian, abirritate, accismus, mundivigant, snickersnee, spanghew, and psittaceous. Are you any of these? 


Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at and


(Point to the state to get the ranking.)

Source: WalletHub