I WAS ALMOST overcome with laughter when I watched several tobacco executives talking on TV about whether tobacco is addictive. One executive compared smoking a cigarette to eating gummy bears. "I love gummy bears, and I'm much happier if I have gummy bears to eat. When I don't have them I'm not happy. That doesn't make gummy bears addictive."

OK.Andy Rooney had a great idea on "60 Minutes." He suggested that magazines should be forced by the federal government to issue a warning, saying, "Over 50 percent of this magazine consists of advertising," and TV shows should have to announce in the first few seconds, "20 percent of this program consists of commercials."

That would make my life easier. When I receive a magazine in the mail these days, I quickly sit down and thumb through it to find the huge glossy or cardboard inserts, then I gently pry the staples loose and remove them and throw them into the circular file.

Yesterday, I saw two guys walking their dogs on my street, and I instantly realized that AT&T and Sprint were probably charging them for it. Now, if they had just thought to use LCI as their long distance carrier - they would have been spared such an indignity. Don't ask me to explain any of this.

Some are saying a computer brain works more effectively than a human brain - in searching for alternatives. At least Deep Blue has shown the ability to defeat the human world chess champion, Garry Kasparov, by con-sid-er-ing billions of alternatives in three minutes. Now the computer geniuses are trying to figure out how they could add to Deep Blue the one missing dimension - personal instinct, intuition, common sense. Of course, that means it could also become angry.

In press coverage of the recent presidential voluntarism summit in Philadelphia, I was bothered by one little thing. A large color photo ran on the front page of newspapers across the country, featuring former presidents George Bush and Jimmy Carter, each each wearing a presidential summit T-shirt over his sport shirt.

I may have spent too much time writing about fashion lately, but this is definitely not a good look. How much trouble would it have been to go inside, remove the shirt and don the T-shirt? The T-shirt over the shirt look suggests the wearer a) doesn't care how it looks b) is wearing it just for a photo opportunity c) is trying to be a good sport.

As a longtime Celtics fan, I favor the hiring of Kentucky's fabled college coach, Rick Pitino, to coach the Boston Celtics, even if it is for $70 million. But I was struck by the strung-out media approach to this event.

A few months ago, Pitino said he was not interested in coaching the Celtics. Then a few weeks ago his name was mentioned again, and it has been in the papers almost every day since.

Every day we got an update - one day Pitino was considering the Celtics job; then he said whoever got the job would be "very lucky"; then there were anonymous reports that it was "95 percent sure that Pitino would come to Boston";then Pitino said he had not yet made up his mind; then Pitino had "an emotional session with his Kentucky players"; then Antoine Walker, current Celtics player and former Kentucky player, visited his former coach to chat; then the Celtics president said Pitino was definitely coming; then Pitino said it was not an easy decision and he had not made it yet; then the press said Pitino would be coach and president of the Celtics; then Red Auerbach, president of the Celtics said he was going nowhere, and Pitino would be "coach and something else"; then there were several reports that Pitino had already agreed to take the job; then Pitino said that was not true; then Pitino appeared at a press conference saying he had accepted the job - "for the challenge, not the money." The next day we learned Pitino is president of the club as well. Goodbye Auerbach.

At least it's over.