Parents party at end of pestering: Last Friday, as the deadline passed for local schoolkids to hand in forms designating their school choices for next year, parents around the city were reported to be holding wild parties to celebrate the end of daily annoying, and increasingly cranky, reminders from principals and teachers.
And if elected, I promise more fun with semantics: US Senate candidate Elizabeth Dole owned up to accepting thousands of dollars from a fundraiser hosted by Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay after she had said she wouldn't campaign until 9-11 tensions had settled down. No one would have cared if Dole's spokeswoman hadn't been quick to point out that, well, technically, a fundraiser isn't the same as a campaign activity. And spinning isn't the same as a lying.
Tilting at windmills: A number of people who have bought expensive homes in the Boone, NC area are mad and threatening to sue because the Tennessee Valley Authority plans to build a dozen electricity-producing windmills within sight of their homes. At a public hearing, residents said they feared that if the windmills are built, they will "clutter the view," and fewer tax-paying bigshots will move to the area to build more mountain mansions which, of course, clutter the view.
Historian Stephen J. Ambrose was accused of plagiarizing passages from another historian's work in his popular Nothing Like It In The World, a book about the first transcontinental railway. This is the fifth recent accusation of plagiarism against him. Ambrose, though, said he wasn't worried and that "I have just begun to fight," before returning to work on his upcoming book, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Quote of the Week: "The best friend of freedom is information." -- US Attorney General John Ashcroft, while releasing videos and photos of suspected Al-Qaeda members. Bystanders were amazed that Ashcroft, who has fought tooth and nail against the release of information about the domestic war on terrorism, made the statement without even a trace of irony.