Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

"Quick Takes" Continued...

Issue: "Return of the Lion," May 17, 2008

Model response

How much difference does one letter make? For Tony Hawks, one letter is the difference between his image as a middle-aged male model in the United Kingdom and being confused with famed skateboarding champion Tony Hawk. Instead of growing weary of misaddressed correspondence from teenage skater kids, Hawks opened up a separate page on his website devoted to the misconception. Included: Email from confused fans, and his cheeky replies. "[H]ey d00d u r the coolest sk8R ever! (sic)," one fan wrote. "Can you sent me a new deck?" Hawks' response: "What kind of deck do you want. Teak or mahogany?"

Steep hill to climb

For a time, Dan Hill, 32, wished he had kept his $160,000-a-year job as an investment banker. The London resident quit his job with UBS to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a carpenter, only to develop a debilitating wood allergy. "All my friends thought I was mad giving up my city job and I felt really silly," Hill told the BBC. "After all I had given up everything to become a carpenter I find out I'm allergic to wood." His discovery came on his first piece, a workbench for his own use made from African hardwood. But after a period of lament, the Wales native discovered one type of wood his allergies could accept: Welsh oak.

User errors

Teachers certainly aren't ROFL-ing. According to a survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, two-thirds of teens admit to accidentally including emoticons and abbreviations popularized by the internet and text messaging in formal school writing. About half admitted the techno-shorthand has caused them to make mistakes in capitalization and punctuation on written assignments.

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