Friday, August 31, 2007

Deja Vu To A Kill?

From the Here-We-Go-Again Department: one week after we reported the suspension of a Phoenix-area student who drew a gun -- on paper -- in class, another Arizona youngster is in trouble.

DRAW TWO! This time, it's a Florence student who went beyond a simple sketch.

From the AP:
Stephanie Vardarkis said her son, Joshua had drawn the images on index cards, sort of like a cartoon that included a stick figure holding a gun.

In one image, the boy included the name of the school resource officer. Rather than it being a threat, Vardarkis said the character was meant to be calling the officer for backup

Larry Cline, a spokesman for the Florence Unified School District, said the student was told by the teacher to put the cards away. He didn't and the cards were confiscated.

Cline said the cartoon content warranted suspension "because it is the intent of the district to provide a safe environment in which to learn."
Yeah, those cards can be dangerous. Just think of all those nasty paper cuts!

WORK FROM HOME. In Tucson, where people complain about traffic, you would think more people would figure out ways to telecommute. Unfortunately, my job doesn't lend itself too well to that scenario, but I can still dream. IBM is aggressively embracing telecommuting.

From ABC News:
"We don't care where and how you get your work done," said Dan Pelino, general manager of IBM's global health care and life sciences business. "We care that you get your work done."

IBM says it saves $100 million a year in real estate costs because it doesn't need the offices.
And just think of what else you save: no hobnobbing with the office brownnoser, nobody getting suspicious about your secretary, and best of all -- no cafeteria food!

LIGHT IT UP. Winnie Langley celebrated her 100th birthday with her 170,000th cigarette. We are debating which is more amazing: Langley's tough lungs or the fact that somebody counted all those smokes.

From the London Daily Mail:
Winnie, from Croydon, South London, claims tobacco has never made her ill.

She has outlived a husband, Robert, and son, Donald, who died two years ago aged 72.

The former launderette worker said she started the habit in 1914 - just weeks after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28 - which sparked the First World War.

The 100-year-old, who is awaiting her telegram from the Queen today, said smoking helped calm her nerves during the two World Wars.
So why doesn't she have cancer?
Despite the numerous health warnings, Mrs Langley insists she's never suffered because of the habit as she "has never inhaled".
Yes, the old Bill Clinton excuse. But maybe it's all those additives.

LIFE IS RUFF. Leona Helmsley's will gives $12 million to her dog and zilch to two of her grandkids.

From the AP:
Helmsley left nothing to two of [her son] Jay Panzirer's other children — Craig and Meegan Panzirer — for "reasons that are known to them," she wrote.
We'll probably never know those reasons, but given Helmsely's character, your Lightning Round can hear her explanation from beyond the grave: "There are those who have, and those who have not. I have, and you have not."

AH, BUREAUCRACY! Here is the wailing wall for those wrapped up in red tape. Farmer Joel Salatin declares, "Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal." And what, precisely, does he want to do? Farm -- his way.

For example:
In the disconnected mind of modem America, a farm is a production unit for commodities — nothing more and nothing less. Because our land is zoned as agricultural, we cannot charge school kids for a tour of the farm because that puts us in the category of "Theme Park." Anyone paying for infotainment creates "Farmadisney," a strict no-no in agricultural zones.

Farms are not supposed to be places of enjoyment or learning. They are commodity production units dotting the landscape, just as factories are manufacturing units and office complexes are service units. In the government’s mind, integrating farm production with recreation and meaningful education creates a warped sense of agriculture.
Read on for more examples of bureaucracy at work, royally lousing things up. We caution you, the "gub'mint" doesn't get equal time to defend itself.

BLONDE MOMENT. The buzz bins are yakking it up over 18-year-old Lauren Caitlin Upton and her ramblingly air-headed answer to a question in last weekend's Miss Teen USA pageant. First, the moment as preserved by YouTube:

In case you didn't catch that:
I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some people out there in our nation don't have maps, and, uh, I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq everywhere like, such as and I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., er, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future for our children.
Upton later defended herself. From WorldNetDaily:
"I didn't do anything wrong," Lauren Caitlin Upton told the State newspaper of South Carolina. "I wasn't expecting [the question]. I lost my train of thought."
Despite all this, she still came in third runner-up! Your Lightning Round is pitching a new TV game show: Are You Smarter Than Miss Teen South Carolina?

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