Friday, March 16, 2007

Hey, Teacher, Leave Those Kids Alone!

Going away to some boarding school shouldn't feel like incarceration.

THIS IS A SCHOOL, RIGHT? Oprah Winfrey's Leadership Academy For Girls in South Africa is so strict, parents can only visit their children once a month, according to Gavin Prins of

From the article:
Cellphones and e-mail correspondence are out of bounds during the week, and girls are only allowed to phone their parents at weekends.

The maximum number of visitors per pupil is four, and visits have to be approved by the school at least two weeks in advance.
And watch what you eat, says one parent:
"The poor children are not even allowed to have any treats. Their diet is fruit, yogurt and sandwiches. When they go on holiday for a month in April they'll be stuffing themselves with sweets and chocolates in any case."
Who's running this school -- Oprah or Sheriff Joe Arpaio? At least Miss O's kids don't have to wear pink underwear and stripes.

Oprah, naturally, says people have it all wrong. A statement posted on says:
"Our goal is to protect the health, welfare and well-being of the students at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy. As with other boarding schools, we provide a structured, safe and nurturing environment in which the girls can learn and develop."
Jail can be pretty safe and nurturing, too, depending on your perspective.

THEY'RE BACK. That was fast. Sen. Hillary Clinton is once again playing the "vast right-wing conspiracy" card long before the first GOP attack ad hits. Clinton bases her conspiracy theory on accusations of anti-voter actions, including phone jamming by Republican operatives in 2002.

From the AP:
She also said the government should do more to end unusually long lines at certain polling places.

"It just so happens that many of those places where people are waiting for hours are places where people of color are voting or young people are voting. That is un-American, and we're going to end it," Clinton said.
We only hope she means ending the lines and not the voting.

BAD HAIR DAY. When police in Memphis booked Anna Clifford for DUI, they nearly had to use a wide-angle lens on the mugshot. Her ghastly-large spiky hair took up most of the frame.

From a police spokesman quoted in the London Daily Mail:
"When we pulled her over she had been driving with her sunroof open to allow room for her hair. I don’t know what she'd do if it rained."
Perhaps flatten it down into an umbrella?

BAD KID. A 13-year-old Ohio boy is charged with more than 100 felonies. The rap sheet against Andrew Riley includes burglary, theft, vandalism and intimidation.

From ONN:
His stepfather said Riley had a rough childhood.

"He's our oldest, you know. He's our first born and he's been through a lot," said [James] Blake.
The stepdad doesn't elaborate on what "a lot" means, but we're guessing it's nothing compared to what the boy has put others through.

TOO MANY SECRETS. You have no excuse to stash a key under your doormat anymore, not when so many other alternatives exist. We're especially fond of the "lettuce safe."

THRILL OF THE FEET. We have seen the rollercoaster of the future, and you pedal it. But where are all the loops?

CAT-ASTROPHE. Authorities in North Platte, Nebraska put down two stray cats and checked them for rabies after they got into a house and attacked three people.

From the AP:
When investigator John Stadler arrived and opened the bedroom door, "he saw a gray and white cat baring its teeth in attack mode," Gutschenritter said. "He shut the bedroom door and returned to his car for a dart gun."

Both cats were shot, tranquilized and taken to the animal shelter, where they were euthanized.
And to think you laughed when it happened to WJW's Kathleen Cochrane.

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