Friday, April 22, 2005

2 Winona High students put free speech to the test: "Two Winona High School students have found themselves in hot water with school officials.

"Why? Because after Carrie Rethlefsen attended a performance of the play 'The Vagina Monologues' last month, she and Emily Nixon wore buttons to school that read: 'I [heart] My Vagina.'

"School leaders said that the pin is inappropriate and that the discomfort it causes trumps the girls' right to free speech. The girls disagree. And despite repeated threats of suspension and expulsion, Rethlefsen has continued to wear her button."

Whenever the principal's quote begins "We support free speech, but..." you have to call them on it. Either they do, or they don't. In this case, unless they want to take the stand that the word "vagina" is inherently offensive, they're fucked. Once you start taking issue with political statements, like wearing black armbands in protest, you lose.
Wild, wild world of island golfing: "There were two alligators near the green on Robber's Row golf course when Parris, who happened to be golfing without his glasses that day, teed off. The ball bounced once about 2 feet before landing directly on one of the reptiles' tails, Lindon said.

"'Unbelievable,' Lindon said with a laugh. 'It was one of the funniest things I had ever seen. The alligator didn't move an inch.'

"When Parris saw where the ball landed, he wasn't tempted to remove it from the gator's tail. He put down a new ball and, in compliance with course rules, wasn't penalized a stroke for the drop."

Two things stand out. First, (there's a pic) the ball looks eminently playable. Dangerous, yes, but how often do you get to use an aligator as a tee? Second, the course has rules that govern this. I wonder how far from the aligator you're allowed to drop your ball?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Disputed Afghan pipeline reviewed: "Afghanistan has said it is capable of protecting a long-delayed multi-billion dollar pipeline that will bring natural gas from Turkmenistan to Pakistan, and possibly to neighbouring India."

What they don't mention is the backstory. This was a Unocal project. The chief lobbyist for the project was Hamid Karzai. It has been suggested that promoting the pipeline project had as much to do with our invasion of Afghanistan as did the Taliban's harboring of bin Laden. It almost entirely explains Karzai's appointment as president.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Marijuana as medicine: The active ingredient of cannabis may protect against heart disease and strokes: "... a paper in this week's Nature, by Sabine Steffens of Geneva University Hospital and her colleagues, suggests the drug (or, at least, its active ingredient) may also have a role in combating heart disease and strokes."

Obviously, Dr. Stephens is a terrorist. Everyone knows marijuana is a tool of the devil, and illegal drugs only fund terror. Or, as The Buggles put it, "they'll send the heart police to put you under cardiac arrest."

Friday, April 08, 2005

A tale of customer service, justice and currency as funny as a $2 bill: "PUT YOURSELF in Mike Bolesta's place. On the morning of Feb. 20, he buys a new radio-CD player for his 17-year-old son Christopher's car. He pays the $114 installation charge with 57 crisp new $2 bills, which, when last observed, were still considered legitimate currency in the United States proper. The $2 bills are Bolesta's idea of payment, and his little comic protest, too.

"For this, Bolesta, Baltimore County resident, innocent citizen, owner of Capital City Student Tours, finds himself under arrest."

I like $2 bills. I have a whole sheet of them at home. I'm amazed that anyone who is assigned as a cashier or store manager doesn't know what denominations are legal tender. Not only should Best Buy give him a refund, they should give him anything in the store. The manager and cashier should be fired, and the cop should be reprimanded.

Better yet, give him 57 Best Buy gift cards for his students, too.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

When nature calls, cell phone owners should answer carefully: "Vince Ingrilli Jr. of Vince Ingrilli & Sons Plumbing Co. in Wauwatosa, said that his shop has pulled mobile phones out of toilets over the years, mostly in local restaurants and bars.

'It happens late at night,' Ingrilli said. 'We get the call in the morning. They don't always tell you what is down there.

'You might be in and out of there in a half-hour if you can pop it out from the top,' said Ingrilli, whose family has been in business for about 50 years. 'If you can't see it or it lodges in the throat of the bowl, you're going to need to replace the whole thing.'

Ingrilli said that sometimes a stuck phone can be melted out by heating up a probe that plumbers use and snaking it down the drain.

'It's good for getting other things out, too,' he said."

Just one more thing for the Tidy Bowl Man to worry about...