Dispatches > The Buzz

Quicktakes

Issue: "John Kerry: On a roll," Feb. 14, 2004

Falling Boulder

Many American schools have sponsored pro-gay speakers, allowed pro-gay art displays, and sanctioned clubs called "Gay-Straight Alliances." But Colorado's Boulder Valley School District is going a step further, advancing new curriculum standards that would require students to "demonstrate" their acceptance of homosexuality.

Among the skills the district has proposed as essential to a proper education: Students would have to demonstrate they can "provide peer support" for homosexual classmates; students would also have to demonstrate they can "advocate for a school environment free of ... homophobia."

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Other standards would require students to explain the health consequences of "heterosexism," and identify "diverse groups in American society ... by culture, ethnicity, age, sex, religion, sexual orientation ... "

Too good for us

It's not that executives at ABE, a Swedish engineering company, want bad-tasting food for employees-just not quite as good-tasting as that provided by chef Richard Norberg. The company didn't renew its contract with Mr. Norberg last month because his cooking is too popular.

ABE officials were concerned that the cafeteria leased to him was attracting hundreds of non-employee diners, creating lines for employees and headaches for management. Mr. Norberg was shocked by the decision: "I thought this was something that we could solve." But company executives say opting for mediocre cuisine was all about business. "We produce pipe-installation parts," said ABE staff manager Curt Lundqvist. "We don't run things like this."

Is he an upgrade?

Jon Blake Cusack's newborn son may someday want to reboot his parents. The boy from Holland, Mich., bears the name of his father-a self-described tech geek-but he isn't "junior" or "Jon Blake II"; instead, he's version 2.0.

The elder Mr. Cusack's wife Jamie at first objected to naming their son after software, but relented the week before she released version 2.0. "There's a lot of features from version 1.0," says an e-mail birth announcement, "with additional features from Jamie."

Pot luck

Jim Devlin is an investment banker who apparently isn't averse to risk. Vacationing at a seaside hotel in Key West last month, Mr. Devlin called police to report the theft of some money, a watch-and some high-quality Bahamian marijuana. An investigating officer told the Miami Herald that Mr. Devlin reeked of alcohol and spoke with slurred speech. Police didn't charge him with marijuana possession because none was found.

Clowning around

A surveillance camera at a St. Louis liquor store last month captured a robbery attempt that turned into a comedy of errors. Trying to steal some booze, the robber slammed face-first into a door, then lost his balance, slipped, and fell.

Then, while trying to flee the scene with his loot, he couldn't get through a store window. So he threw his bag of goods out the window-breaking the bottles of booze he had stolen. The man finally escaped the store empty-handed but with a new nickname, courtesy of St. Louis police: the "Clown Bandit."

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