Saturday, March 5, 2016

That and This

-- Astronaut Scott Kelly just returned from spending a year at the International Space Station. He said his skin is super-sensitive and he's got a lot of muscle aches and joint pain. His heart may have shrunk from lack of effort while he was in zero gravity and his leg and hip muscles may have atrophied also. But he's almost 2 inches taller. Sign me up!

-- A South Carolina high school teacher had some private photos of herself in an undressed state on her personal phone, which she left in the classroom one day. A student purloined the phone, found the pics, and posted them online. The teacher was forced to resign because the superintendent said she "was not where she should have been when the incident occurred." The student has now been arrested and charged with counts of computer crime and aggravated voyeurism. This is good; this incident cost a veteran teacher her job (because her boss is a dork who doesn't understand that firing a crime victim is bad PR) and it should bite him. He should be glad our justice system is not based on the concept of karma, or else all of his shortcomings would be made visible to the world as well.

-- Whoever runs the Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department apparently went to the same management school as the South Carolina superintendent, since he or she suspended two volunteer firefighters for using a fire engine to take a toddler to the hospital when they thought she was suffering a seizure. The two responded to a call at a restaurant, saw the baby in distress, and apparently could find no rescue unit close enough to make the hospital run in a reasonable time. Fire trucks do not have the proper restraints to carry patients; all of their seat belts and such are designed for people sitting upright in their seats. So the pair was suspended for the "unsafe" practice. A spokesman for the department is smarter than his boss -- he ain't saying nothin'.

-- 70 years ago today, Winston Churchill -- at that time a private citizen again -- delivered a speech at Westminster University in Fulton, Missouri ("The name Westminster is somehow familiar to me," he said in his opening. "I seem to have heard of it before."). In the speech, he would describe an "iron curtain" across Europe that divided its nations and left many in the Soviet Union's untender sphere of influence, and so it's known as "The Iron Curtain Speech." Churchill actually titled it "Sinews of Peace." Either way, we know that 1) The speech gave the first definition to what would become known as the Cold War between the United States and other Western democracies and the Soviet Union and other communist regimes and 2) The number of politicians working today -- especially among those competing for the office of President of the United States -- who could correctly define "sinew" is, shall we say, other than large.

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