William Katz: Urgent Agenda
DECEMBER 28, 2009
LONDON, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- A serial shoplifter from North Wales who has served the equivalent of two life sentences was jailed after committing theft No. 321, British police say.David Archer, 54, spent Saturday in jail after admitting in court he shoplifted two bottles of whiskey.
He served the equivalent of two life sentences? Wouldn't that mean..? We have here a biological miracle.
DECEMBER 27, 2009
DURHAM, N.H., Dec. 25 (UPI) -- Students who engage heavily in social networking do just as well academically as students who are less interested in keeping in touch, U.S. researcher say. Chuck Martin, whose marketing research class at the University of New Hampshire conducted the study, says the class surveyed 1,127 university students from a range of majors.
Just thought you parents out there would want to know.
DECEMBER 26, 2009
Actual AP headline today: Terror suspected in plot to blow up Northwest jet
Yeah, yeah, I'd say that if there's a plot to blow up an airliner, terror might be suspected. Sure, I'll go along with that.
DECEMBER 25, 2009
WALLINGFORD, Pa. (AP) - A suburban Philadelphia teenager was suspended for a day for wearing a Santa Claus suit to school. Michael Hance says he told his principal that he planned to wear the suit to Strath Haven High School in Wallingford and hand out candy canes. The 18-year-old senior says the principal told him that wasn't a good idea because it would be a distraction. But he wore the suit anyway, with regular clothes underneath.
Now they should suspend the principal for a day so he can contemplate the concept of "dumbness." What Christmas spirit!
DECEMBER 24, 2009
EL DORADO HILLS, Calif., Dec. 23 (UPI) -- A California woman is imploring thieves to return a 300-pound fiberglass hippopotamus taken from her yard. Lynn McCarty said Henrietta the Giant Pink Hippo, which formerly graced her El Dorado Hills yard, was last seen two weeks ago in the bed of a white Ford truck speeding away from her home, Sacramento's KOVR-TV reported Wednesday.
She'll never get it back. Everyone knows there's a huge underground market in 300-pound fake pink hippos. (I suspect it was taken by the Good Taste Patrol.)
DECEMBER 23, 2009
From columnist Bonnie Kogos in the Sudbury (Ontario) Star, reporting from a conference on digital publishing: "I prepare to be devastated for two days, scratch my head when the first panelist states 'I’m trying to get meta-date normalized across the libraries.' A publishing executive says: 'We’re not writers, we’re content owners. We need to aggregate content around the author.' 'No, I want to unbundle content,' says another."
I can understand why my old friend, Bonnie, was prepared to be devastated. These guys are trying to invent a new, hip language to make themselves sound like the new publishing intellectuals. Well, this content owner won't buy it. We're writers, and editors, and always will be, even if our content gets a little unbundled in the struggle.
DECEMBER 22, 2009
From Britain's Guardian: Does breaking a window count as art? Yes, murmured the 50 or so artniks who recently crowded into a former Edinburgh ambulance garage to view a film of sculptor Kevin Harman doing just that. No, insisted Kate Gray, director of the Collective Gallery in Cockburn Street, whose window it was. The courts are on Gray's side. Yesterday Harman, a prize-winning graduate of Edinburgh College of Art, was fined £200 for breaching the peace on 23 November, when he smashed a metal scaffolding pole through one of the gallery's windows.
I'd love to know what prize this dude won at the Edinburgh College of Art. Best window breaker? Best window breaker using a long pole? Do they have a ceremony to award that? Do they wear those black gowns?
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