Produced by Gary Drevitch
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S ROLLER COASTER
Disney theme parks claim another victim: A 12-year-old has died after riding the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at Disney MGM in Florida. This appears to be the fifth recent Disney-ride death. In tomorrow's papers: Disney spokespeople will explain why the death was the victim's own damn fault and why their theme parks require no state or federal regulation.
AND THE GOOD NEWS JUST KEEPS COMING FOR DISNEY
Three Orlando-area theme park workers [two Disney, one Universal] were suspended on Monday after an online sex sting operation in Polk County. . . the men carried on graphic online chats for months with those who they believed were young teenage boys or girls.
IT'S CLEARLY THE WORST POSSIBLE SYSTEM - EXCEPT FOR ALL THE OTHERS
The New York Daily News weighed in with an editorial the other day (the link crashed our browser three times, so we won't burden you) on the state of the city's gifted-and-talented programs, just as we prepare to offer Tiny Girl up to the admissions process next fall:
Klein has set out to establish a uniform, citywide process for determining which kindergartners, first- and second-graders are admitted to special classes for bright children. . . The chancellor says he plans to establish a system in which every district would administer the same IQ test to 4- and 5-year-olds, supplement it with evaluations by nursery school teachers, combine the scores and admit children in rank order. This would start with the 2007-08 school year, and therein lies the first difficulty. . . Designing a test could take years; picking one off the shelf could take months. How the department expects to give the test it eventually selects to children too young to read and write is more problematic. The work is ordinarily done by psychologists trained in questioning young kids, and they meet regularly to try to ensure that all children are similarly tested. Without great care, deploying inexperienced in-house staff could undermine fairness. . . Finally, weighing preschool evaluations is dangerous, particularly where competition is fierce. Parental pressure on the upper West Side last year drove some preschools to give every student top marks. . .
The editorial is an effective summary/introduction to the problems which will face families seeking entry to the G&Ts for Fall 2007. This fall, the city will roll out its third different model for placing youngsters in three years. Last year's model - based on the city's dangerously subjective Gifted Ratings Scale - was a failure, for the reasons stated above. And the editorial doesn't even mention other citywide G&T concerns, such as whether school placement will involve sibling or catchment (neighborhood) preferences. Since the city has gone back and forth on those questions from year to year, the sense of G&T placement as a pure crapshoot grows and the department's credibility lessens. Of course, we expect Tiny will do just fine . . .
TAG, YOU'RE . . . COMPLETELY OUT OF YOUR MIND!
According to USA Today, more elementary schools are banning competitive and/or contact sports like tag and soccer, "in the name of safety."
In January, Freedom Elementary School in Cheyenne prohibited tag at recess because it "progresses easily into slapping and hitting and pushing instead of just touching," Principal Cindy Farwell says.
Wow. Sounds like someone's basing school policy on her bad first-date flashbacks. But Ms. Farwell would really hate the game FD used to play before the start of middle school: Two groups of guys would stand on opposite ends of the school playground, fill their hands with whatever pebbles, rocks, and refuse they could find, then hurl the projectiles at each other. Good times, good times.
WE ACTUALLY SAW THIS COMING LAST SUNDAY WHEN BECKHAM SCORED ENGLAND'S WINNING ROUND-OF-16 GOAL AND THE CAMERAS FIXATED ON POSH CHEERING (OR WAS IT CONVULSING?) IN THE STANDS
Victoria Beckham, nee Posh Spice, footballer's wife of British star David Beckham, is in the public eye once again as the Union Jackers advance in the World Cup, which means teen girls across Britain are looking in the mirror and feeling fat:
. . . it is feared that the 31-year-old's ultra-slim figure is making her a 'thinspiration' for anorexics. The mother of three . . . is cited by many sufferers from the eating disorder as the celebrity they would most like to look like - and she has been hailed on pro-anorexia websites. . . [one poster] said: "I envy her thin legs and chest. She has beautiful bones sticking out of her chest."
HOW ABOUT THIS MODEST PROPOSAL: DON'T BAN THE STUFF BECAUSE IT'S FATTENING. BAN IT BECAUSE IT'S COMPLETELY DISGUSTING
Massachusetts' long nightmare is over: The much-ballyhooed proposal to limit the availability of (locally-produced product) Fluff in school cafeterias has been withdrawn.
June 29, 2006 | Permalink |
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