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Here are a few things in news, sports, entertainment and popular culture that we’ve been talking about lately.

* Mattel will release a “Ladies of the ’80s” doll collection featuring Cyndi Lauper, Joan Jett and Deborah Harry. The less distinguished “Men of the ’80s” collection features Frank Stallone, Harold Faltermeyer and whomever will admit to doing “Pac-Man Fever.”

* Las Vegas City Council approves removing a downtown pay phone that reportedly was popular among drug dealers. You know crime has gotten out of hand when they start handing down death sentences on inanimate objects.

* Ticket sales are brisk for Garth Brooks’ upcoming shows at Wynn Las Vegas. But not so brisk for Chris Gaines’ upcoming shows at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Main Street.

* A 19-year-old student from Norway wins the Monopoly World Championship in Las Vegas. As board game championships go, much easier to clean up after than the Risk world championships.

* America turns on the Balloon Boy amid mounting evidence that his family planned the incident as a publicity stunt. But it all seemed so cute in that movie “Up.”

JOHN PRZYBYS (jprzybys@reviewjournal.com)

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