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Funny Business with Jane Wells

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  Wednesday, 13 Aug 2014 | 3:43 PM ET

Up in smoke: California wildfire torches pot crops

Posted By: Jane Wells

A wildfire burning through dense forest in California's Mendocino County has destroyed more than 11,000 acres and injured eight firefighters. The cost has reportedly topped $20 million.

That does not include the marijuana.

»Read more
  Thursday, 7 Aug 2014 | 1:38 PM ET

Prancercise is back! This time with horses...

Posted By: Jane Wells

The Prancercise lady is back.

A year and a half after Joanna Rohrback became a viral video star with her odd exercise program and an outfit that defies description, she's returned with a new Prancercise video (plus a DVD) called "Fitness with Passion."

"This video goes a step beyond my original video, exploring the potential of getting fit along with a preferred partner, in a preferred environment, and even alongside preferred animals," said Rohrback.

Read MorePrancercise Creator: 'Let Them Laugh'

The new video is different from the original in three ways: 1) Rohrback has a partner this time, Victor Cutino of the Peaceful Ridge Rescue for horses, 2) she actually gets to Prancercise with real horses, 3) more money was used in the production (a drone provides aerials, spooking the horses at one point).

It actually looks like a pretty good workout.

»Read more
  Friday, 1 Aug 2014 | 1:02 PM ET

The economy's in the toilet, and that's a good thing

Posted By: Jane Wells

Here's one indicator the economy is improving: Your favorite seat in the house costs more.

Toilet sales have risen 28 percent since 2011, according to American Standard CEO Jay Gould, whose company is a leading manufacturer of toilets.

"We lost about a third of our overall business from 2008 until 2012," Gould said. "I'm happy to say now, over the past two years, we've been growing at double-digit rates."

Most of the company's $1 billion in annual sales are tied to home remodeling projects, and the company is now trying to capture one of the fastest-growing trends: smart toilets. This summer American Standard started selling the $4,200 AT200, a toilet with a heated seat that automatically opens, closes and flushes.

Read MorePeer-to-peer's new meaning: Bathroom rentals

American consumers looking for a European experience can also use a retractable bidet wand. Competitors Toto and Kohler already sell smart toilets, and Gould said he thinks American Standard can sell $50 million worth a year.

»Read more
  Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | 11:52 AM ET

Living the dream in Malibu—for less!

Posted By: Jane Wells

I got to pretend this week. Pretend that I live in Malibu.

»Read more
  Friday, 18 Jul 2014 | 12:51 PM ET

Lady Gaga 'Water Boards' California

Posted By: Jane Wells

Lady Gaga found out we have a huge drought in California while she was out here doing a music video near the humongous swimming pool at Hearst Castle.

Now she wants to Water Board you. She's working with state water boards to urge Californians to conserve.

The resulting marriage of hot fame and dry earth is, well, a bad romance.

»Read more
  Monday, 14 Jul 2014 | 1:10 PM ET

Germany wins another world title...in beach nudity

Posted By: Jane Wells

Germans are in the throes of ecstasy after winning the World Cup. Expect raucous celebrations. And nudity.

Hey, it's summertime, the weather is warm. In Deutschland, that means it's time to go clothing-optional, at least at the beach.


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  Tuesday, 1 Jul 2014 | 1:02 PM ET

Germany vs France: A World Cup drinking game

Posted By: Jane Wells

One hundred years after the First World War started, and 70 years after D-Day, Americans on this Fourth of July can sit back and watch what happens when Germany tries to invade French territory again...in Brazil.

Or at least that's how ESPN may play it.

»Read more
  Thursday, 5 Jun 2014 | 9:37 AM ET

Welcome to the pork-cooking center of the universe

Posted By: Jane Wells

Inside the Swine Barn at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, it smells like...a swine barn. At this year's World Pork Expo, a record 4,007 pigs are registered for the show.

Outside the Swine Barn, however, it smells, well, delicious. The Expo is hog heaven for those who love the other white meat.

»Read more
  Friday, 23 May 2014 | 12:32 PM ET

Real 'Mary Janes': Meet the women of pot

Posted By: Jane Wells

I've noticed an emerging trend in the marijuana industry in Colorado.

There are an awful lot of women running these businesseswhether it's retail pot shops, manufacturing edible products infused with cannabis or running testing labs.

At this week's first-ever Colorado Cannabis Summit in Denver, the entire panel of local experts on safety and technology was made up of women.

"I like to call them the marijuana mavens," said Brooke Gehring, a former mortgage banker who now owns four pot stores in Colorado.

Read MoreColorado cracks down on edible pot products

"It blows my mind, the incredible women I've met in this industry," said Genifer Murray, founder and CEO of CannLabs, a state-certified lab that tests the potency and safety of recreational pot products.

»Read more
  Tuesday, 20 May 2014 | 10:55 AM ET

UCLA students explain Snapchat and sexting

Posted By: Jane Wells

"Facebook is ancient, Snapchat's just old."

Wise words from Khalid McCaskill, a student at UCLA. McCaskill typifies today's social media user: young, engaged and showing about as much loyalty to one platform as Zsa Zsa Gabor did to marriage. (Google that one, kids.)

»Read more

About Funny Business with Jane Wells

  • If it was up to Jane Wells, she’d spend her entire day combing Mother Earth for stories and observations just for this blog. She has more fun writing Funny Business than anything else she does... professionally, that is. Funny business is whatever Jane considers hilarious, strange, fishy, or ridiculous, which pretty much covers everything on Wall Street. It is her hope this blog makes you smile, even when the news is grim. After all, it's only money.

 

  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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