Strange stories always seem to make their way into the headlines when the mercury rises.

When the temperature goes up, the news gets a little weird.

I don't know if it is the long, hot days or the fact that everyone is on vacation so the news tends to slow down. But strange stories always seem to make their way into the headlines when the mercury rises.

One of the best weird stories I have seen recently involved one of my favorite fast food places. Of course, Wendy's claims the subliminal message in their logo was unintentional. They hadn't noticed the word "mom" being included in their logo over the past three decades that it has been in use.

That's right, the little girl in pigtails, seems to have "mom" in her collar.

When it was pointed out to the company, Wendy's VP of Communications Denny Lynch said, "We are aware of this and find it interesting that it appears our Wendy cameo has 'mom' on her ruffled collar. We can assure you it was unintentional."

I don't know about you, but I believe it.

We did a little research here at the Gazette and we were shocked to find some interesting subliminal material in our logo, as well. I can honestly say, I have been here six years and never noticed it.

The flying monkey writing a column was never meant to be part of our branding or meant to resemble me at all. But after the fiasco Wendy's went through with their discovery, I checked our logo and it seems obvious now. Why would someone choose this method to mock me and my writing? It seems mean-spirited.

We have taken steps to ensure that the flying monkey writing a column on an iPad will never appear in our branding again.

It isn't known whether Wendy's will remove the subliminal message from theirs. I just hope they stop using those new kerosene cucumbers on their hamburgers instead of the good old hamburger dill chips they used to use.

Pretzel bread is a great idea but it doesn't make up for bad pickles and potato skins on your fries.

A 51st state?

America doesn't need a 51st state. We just don't. And if we do get a 51st state, it should be Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic or Mexico.

Think about it.

Our national soccer team would be much better and all of the great latino baseball players would be American baseball players.

Conferring statehood to Mexico would also eliminate 90 percent of the illegal immigration debate and keep those Cancun, Cozumel and Puerto Vallarta tourism money at home.

I'm in favor of adding all of these and getting rid of all of the norths and souths and wests on the map. Do we really need two Dakotas or multiple Carolinas? Can't West Virginia just be western Virgina?

All of these ideas at least have some merit, but the recent CNN piece that discussed a 51st state was completely out of line. The last thing we need is a North Colorado.

But a handful of Colorado counties and a few in southern Nebraska (you had to know an idea this bad included Nebraska) want to secede from their non-oil-producing neighbors in the south and keep their vast riches for themselves.

One of the counties pushing for the creation of a new state is Weld County. Sure a spare state would be nice to have around in case Texas really made good on those secession threats. Then we wouldn't have to change all of the flags. But I just don't think it could ever happen.

Weld County Commissioner Doug Rademacher is a proponent of the plan, but he agrees with me on the likelihood of it coming to fruition. "Realistically," he said, "We will not see the finish line. But it will be an interesting exercise."

The fact that he thinks anything about North Colorado would be interesting and Colorado's recent legalization of marijuana are probably not related. But I would feel a little better knowing these guys weren't coming up with ideas like this while they were sober.

Kent Bush is the publisher of the Augusta Gazette, the El Dorado Times, and the Andover American newspapers. He can be contacted at: