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Lots Of News

May 4th, 2001 - 3:31 a.m.

I'm Currently Avoiding:

Hmmm...I apparently missed a few days, so there will be 3 days of the "day" in this entry. Also, there will be two words and a heavy emphasis on news snippets. So, with no further ado, the day before yesterday/yesterday, yesterday/today, and today/tomorrow (depending on how you look at things),

May 2 is ......... Fire Day (I thought fire was supposed to be a bad thing? So why would it get it's own day? Didn't Smokey the Bear have *any* effect on this country? And it also reminds me of this.)

May 3 is ......... Lumpy Rug Day (Ummm...lumpy rug day? Why/how does it have lumps in it? It's not oatmeal we're talking about here.)

May 4 is ......... National Candied Orange Peel Day (Hmmm...um, okay. Wasn't this covered under candy day or something? Besides, is candied orange peel even that good? Questions, comments, souvenirs?)

Double the Words, Double the Fun....

hew (v. YOOHOO)

1 : to cut or fell with blows (as of an ax)

2 : to give shape to with or as if with an ax

3 : to conform, adhere

Hew is a strong, simple word of Anglo-Saxon descent. It can suggest actual ax-wielding or it can be figurative, as in Ralph Waldo Emerson's "If . . . our ambition hews and shapes [our] new relations, their virtue escapes, as strawberries lose their flavor in garden-beds." It's easy to see how the figurative shape sense of hew developed from the literal hacking sense. But what does chopping have to do with adhering and conforming, the modern sense of hew that first appeared in the late 1800s (and still appears today) in the phrase hew to the line? The hew line is a mark on a tree indicating where to chop. Hewing to the line, literally, is hitting the mark -- adhering to it -- until the tree is felled.

longueur (n. lion-goes-GRRR)

: a dull and tedious passage or section (as of a book)

You've probably come across long, tedious passages in books before, but perhaps you didn't know there was a word for them. English speakers began using the French borrowing longueurs in the late 18th century, starting with English writer Horace Walpole, who wrote in a letter, "Boswell's book is gossiping; . . . but there are woful longueurs, both about his hero and himself." In French, longueurs are tedious passages, and longueur literally means length. Longueur is usually found in its plural form, and it isn't applied only to passages in books. Long and drawn-out portions of plays, operas, and films are also called longueurs.

And now, an excess of news snippets with commentary following.

Thursday is Martin Z. Mollusk Day in at Moorlyn Terrace Beach in Ocean City, N.J. If Martin, the hermit crab equivalent of Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog, sees his shadow at 11 a.m. (ET), summer comes a week early. If he doesn't, summer arrives on time.

Ummm....huh? Crabs are mollusks? I didn't think they were....weirdos. Oh well, it Is New Jersey after all. Who cares if summer comes a week early or not? I mean, there's not a really striking difference between spring and summer you know. If you were to tell me that Winter was going to come 4 weeks earlier if the crab saw its shadow (how does a crab see it's shadow and how do they tell anyway?) I might be concerned, but summer coming a week earlier or not? Not caring.

A decorated veteran of the D-Day invasion at Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge says he doesn't know why he did something so stupid as becoming an armed bank robber. 77-year-old Harry Rabin was sentenced to three years in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to holding up three suburban banks in a six-week crime spree in late 1998. He escaped with a combined $8,700 in his first two stickups of branch banks in Skokie, Ill., but his tan four-door Toyota Camry was spotted after he robbed a Glenview bank of $3,254. Rabin -- who won a Silver Star during his World War II service -- said he turned to bank robbery to keep up with the lifestyle of a 78-year-old woman he met through a matchmaker. The widower said the woman had money and claimed her son was a millionaire. He said he felt he had to keep up or risk losing her.

Haaaaaaaaaaaa....um, this is pathetic. He robbed Three banks in a "six-week crime spree" in order to make fast money and keep this one woman in style? O kay. The idiocies of males when they're in love or something I guess. Maybe he's getting senile or something? And it took them three years to get this all wrapped up and him convicted, when he plead guilty? Okay...remind me to never do anything illegal, since it'll take forever to get it cleared up.

Why should the Commies have the best tombs? The Vatican is to put the body of reformist Pope John XXIII on display to the faithful in St Peter's in Rome on June 3, the anniversary of his death. That'll show Lenin. (Thanks to UPI Hears)

Two things are wrong with this. First of all, Russia is no longer communist, and isn't calling someone a "commie" sort of prejudiced? I thought that term was a no-no nowadays. And especially when it's in a printed newspaper deal! Oh, and the second thing...displaying Anyones dead body is just gross...I don't care if it was one of the major leaders/founders of Communism or one of the Pope's...it's still just wrong. And isn't this going to induce idol worshiping? Isn't that frowned upon by the Catholic Church or is it okay b/c he was the Pope?

The American Civil Liberties Union is going to bat for a 9th-grade student who was suspended from school until the beginning of the next school year for carrying a small penknife to high school in violation of the school's "zero tolerance" weapons policy. A hearing is scheduled Thursday in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., on the ACLU's motion for a temporary restraining order against the Rio Rancho School District for the alleged wrongful suspension of Kara Williams, a student at the Rio Rancho High School, located a few miles north of Albuquerque. Principal Gary Tripp suspended Williams after she was found carrying the one-inch-long knife on a keychain in her backpack last month. The key chain, with a miniature flashlight, had been given to the girl by her parents after she misplaced her house key, the ACLU said. Williams was suspended for the rest of the current semester as well as the summer semester, and is only permitted to make up two classes through an evening program she takes with one other student. The ACLU said as a result, she might not graduate on time. The civil liberties group said the school's student handbook does not define what's considered a weapon. "Kara was carrying the penknife as part of a key chain and had no intent of using it as a weapon or for harmful purposes," said ACLU attorney Jane Gagne. The principal said school officials have no discretion under the "zero tolerance" policy to consider the size of the weapon or the circumstances of each case.

This just makes me sad. Honestly, what's she going to do with a penknife attatched to a keychain? And it just makes me so sad to see what the schools have been reduced to. And it's just the younger ones too...colleges certainly aren't like that. What are we teaching the children of today if we put all these "procautions" into the schools? Besides fear, anger, pain, unfairness, and a lot of other things that are all generally negative. I just don't know. Time to move on to something less depressing I think.

I can't tell you how much I hate it when people screw up constantly when they write something. There's quite a bit of difference between not being able to "bare" something and not being able to "bear" something. In the first instance, the person is unable to take off their clothes. Or reveal something, if you want to get less bodily oriented. And in the second, the person is unable to endure or suffer something any longer. And after seeing several people write that person x was "unable to bare it if (blank) happened"....I'm rather annoyed. Frigging people. Why can't they use the English language semi-properly? It just makes me want to smack something. Preferrably the author.

Grrrr....I keep forgetting to put this in a diary entry, and I don't want to do it now b/c it's late enough as it is. So for next time, don't let me forget that I'm supposed to write about this one connection between Frosted Mini-Wheats and schizophrenia in America.

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