Skool Daze 6.1
As part of a $41,000 ad campaign to encourage youngsters to stay
in school, the Washington public schools recently festooned some
75 Metro buses with the less-than-inspiring slogan: "D.C. Public
Schools Wants You!!! Go To Class--It' a Blast!!!" Yes, that's "it'
a blast," not "it's." And, no, "wants" in the first sentence doesn't
exactly agree, grammatically speaking, with "schools."
Furious about the mistakes, school superintendent Paul L. Vance
complained to the Washington Post that the "inexcusable"
error "reinforces the perception that we're less than competent."
Vance told the Post that he "has stressed to his staff the
importance of using spell check and having someone double-check
syntax and subject-verb agreement." But somehow the errors, possibly
introduced at the printer, weren't caught when the signs were sent
back to be proofread and double-checked.
As the Post points out, this isn't the first time the D.C.
schools have had this kind of trouble. "About a year ago, school
officials passed out a program that misspelled 'tomorrow' on the
cover--an error that a student pointed out to then-Superintendent
Arlene Ackerman," the Post notes. "Around the same time,
a school board member provided written testimony to the D.C. Council
that referred to D.C. 'pubic' schools."
That's not gud. Not gud at all.
Latte Capitalism 4.4
The tech stock implosion has already drained the coffers of more
than a few investors. Will it also destroy the Starbucks economy?
A recent article in The Industry Standard asks if the "latte
will go the way of the three-martini lunch?" Noting that no one
took to fancy $4 coffee drinks quite "so thirstily as new economy
workers, who made the latte part of the geek-chic package," Standard
writer Lesley Anderson wonders if "now that the caffeine-fueled
hi-jinks of the Internet economy have ebbed, consumers may cool
to afternoon caramel macchiatos."
Though Starbucks and other gourmet coffee sellers haven't yet noticed
a fall-off in sales, Anderson did manage to find a few former Starbuckers
scattered about the virtual economy who've sworn off "$5 white-chocolate
mochaccinos" for $1 cups of Dunkin' Donuts coffee. And they may
be trend-setters. "As the cost of these drinks has gone up," Ted
Lingle of the Specialty Coffee Association of America told the Standard,
"the price elasticity will be much more noticeable if the economy
Mom's Tired, Honey 7.9
It's a story that uncannily echoes one of the subplots of National
Vacation--and more than one urban legend. But according to
The Associated Press, a Colorado woman drove more than 1,000 miles
with her dead mother propped up in the passenger seat of her car in
an apparent attempt to save the money it would have cost to send her
mother's body to her final resting place alongside her husband in
a cemetery in Lane County, Oregon. The body, dressed in a clean set
of pajamas, apparently survived the journey none the worse for wear.
Even though such an act is technically illegal, AP reports that authorities
have no intention of charging Janet Levine with any wrongdoing. "Sometimes
the shock of the death of a loved one makes people think kind of crazy,"
the local medical examiner told the press.