Funny Business with Jane Wells


  Tuesday, 10 Jul 2007 | 11:08 AM ET

Top "Deko": Does This Headline Push The Envelope?

Posted By: Jane Wells
Do you ever notice those clever "banners" which flash on screen during stories? How can you not? They're omnipresent, even oppressive. You know, "Hilton's Check-Out Time" when Paris leaves jail, or "iMania!" for the iPhone buildup. Often the banners end with question marks, which is a feeble attempt to push the envelope: "Is Bill Gates Evil?" "Steve Jobs a Jerk?" (translation: we think so, but we have to be "objective" so let's just pose the question). »Read more
  Monday, 9 Jul 2007 | 8:27 AM ET

Cadbury Cooks Up BBQ Recipe: Dr. Pepper Sauce Anyone?

Posted By: Jane Wells
Someone at Cadbury Schweppes has been into the sauce. The beverage giant is teaming up with Vita Food Products this week to introduce three new BBQ sauces and marinades at the Fancy Food Show. The sauces are based on--get ready--Dr. Pepper, A&W Root Beer, and 7UP (7UP on ribs? Not right). »Read more
  Tuesday, 3 Jul 2007 | 12:27 PM ET

Ratatouille Prompts Study: Rats Nicer Than People?

Posted By: Jane Wells
In a scientific tie-in to the new Picture film "Ratatouille" (do scientists do this on purpose?) lab humans observing lab rats have determined that rats who've been helped in the past "pay it forward." This is, they claim, the first proof of "indirect reciprocity" in non-humans. In other words, rats that were helped in the past are more likely to help a stranger in the future. The report was published in Los Biology, an online open access journal (the same place I found the stuff about fruitflies having free will--what a gold mine that site is). »Read more
  Tuesday, 3 Jul 2007 | 11:54 AM ET

Apple's iPhone: The aNti-iPhone Caller

Posted By: Jane Wells
Hard to believe, but not everyone is buying an iPhone. In fact, 290 million Americans are probably going to take a pass. People like, well, you? Certainly people like LA commodities trader Ed Frank, who jokes, "What's an iPhone?" Frank's own cell phone gets stares, not because it's new, but because it's OLD. Really old. It's a Motorola StarTAC, which he bought nine years ago! In the last century. »Read more
  Thursday, 28 Jun 2007 | 12:30 PM ET

Apple iPhone: i'Ve hAd iT wIth iFrenzy!!

Posted By: Jane Wells
Thankfully, sometime in the next couple of days, the first Apple iPhone will be sold and the 290 million Americans not buying one can go back to their normal, boring lives. Look, the thing looks absolutely iFabulous, but can it clean my bathrooms? No. Next! A firm called M:Metrics says it's been trying to gauge actual, honest-to-goodness-minus-the-media-hype interest in the device, and has found.. »Read more
  Wednesday, 27 Jun 2007 | 12:17 PM ET

Canada Gets Tough (Eh!),"  And Dyson "Sucks" Water

Posted By: Jane Wells
You have to admit, Canada is the best neighbor on the planet. But now Canada wants Americans to know she will no longer be taken for granted as the girl next door! The Canadian Tourism Council says Canada is "tired of hearing that it's too nice, too pretty, too pristine and too safe." Gee, I bet Iraqis would love to have that rep. WE'D love that rep. But the Canucks are touting the country's "new personality and make-over," like some sort of silicone implant, with a new slogan "Keep Exploring." »Read more
  Tuesday, 26 Jun 2007 | 9:59 AM ET

Paris Hilton Free At Last: Now What? You Respond

Posted By: Jane Wells
Hilton's check out time: She is free at last. Now we'll see if Paris Hilton has truly changed. Talk about the opportunity of a lifetime. She checked into jail as the most reviled woman in America. While there, her silence bought her some sympathy. What now? Will the "new Paris" become more like Princess Di, less like Anna Nicole? More Angelina, less Britney? Personally, I hope she surprises us all. Meantime, we have not changed, readers. And part of me thanks you for that. »Read more
  Monday, 25 Jun 2007 | 8:53 AM ET

Paris Hilton Released: What Should She Do? (Tell Me)

Posted By: Jane Wells
Paris The Thought: It all starts anew this week. With Ms. Hilton leaving jail, email me with suggestions on how she might effectively rebrand herself. Seeking big money from networks has backfired--especially since she doesn't actually need money. Perhaps she should have said the dough would be donated to programs that help inmates. Yes, it's easy to crack wise (and feel free to!), but, seriously, what should she do now? There's a CNBC coffee mug in it for the most thoughtful reply. »Read more
  Friday, 15 Jun 2007 | 11:53 AM ET

Citigroup's Weill Shows Giving Is "Feel Good Science"

Posted By: Jane Wells
Citigroup Chairman Sandy Weill told our Mary Thompson this week that people should start giving their money away even before they have a lot of it. Ok, that's a great idea, though it's a bit easy for him to say. Weill and his wife have generously donated $250 million to Weill Cornell Medical College, and he feels passionate about it. Now we have the scientific proof behind that passion. »Read more
  Thursday, 14 Jun 2007 | 10:21 AM ET

The Marty Ingel's Memo: His Rebuttal To Me

Posted By: Jane Wells
On Friday I poked some fun at Shirley Jones for sending out a press release when Florence Henderson reportedly called her a nasty name. Well, I got an earful on the phone from Jones’ husband, comedian Marty Ingels, who wanted to know if I’d be willing to print a rebuttal. I said, “Absolutely! Every word!” Oops! Last night in the ol’ email inbox I got a four-page scanned hand-written letter from Ingels. Here it is, the whole thing... »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.