Tuesday, February 13, 2007

London parents outdo even New Yorkers: It’s now commonplace that applications for the most prestigious preschools in London have to be submitted shortly after the baby emerges from the womb, and a few schools suggest even giving them a head’s up during the pregnancy. "I filled in the forms with an epidural in my back," one mom said. One school reserves five advance places every month, and savvy moms try to postpone a 31st-of-the-month delivery (the five slots long-ago taken) so the kid’ll drop on the 1st (new slots open!). [pay-per-view Wall Street Journal, 2-12-2007]

That’s Messed Up
Army still short-changing soldiers on defense: Remember "Shock and Awe"? The March 2003 display of super-destructive, yet precision bombs made the world think there was nothing American technology couldn’t bring to war. Well, here we are, four years later, and the Pentagon still hasn’t armored U.S. soldiers nearly as well as it technologically could. There’s that NBC News report on rocket propelled grenade-defending technology that Israel loves, yet the Pentagon won’t go there because it prefers a competing system made by Raytheon that won’t be ready before, er, 2011. And then the Washington Post reported yesterday that even armor upgrades on the Humvee (just to keep the IEDs from blowing through them, not neutralizing them) is still a work in progress. Y’see, the U.S. needed to attack Iraq in March 2003 and not a bit later, even though it was short in equipment by around $56B, and obviously it hasn’t caught up yet. Yikes.

Below The Fold
El Presidente Morales wants Bolivia to have more indigenous celebrations, like "Tinku," which is an annual Aymara/Quechua community-wide, bloody fight club (aka "a sublime, beautiful act," according to one mayor) . . . . . A judge in Taiwan granted a divorce after the new wife refused to undress on her wedding night, adding (to hubby), "You are ridiculous!" . . . . . Stephen Drake is thought to be (reported The Sun) the only person in Britain clinically terrified of little old ladies, i.e., he’s afraid he’ll uncontrollably attack them and so stays far away . . . . . A British businessman was arraigned in New York City on a charge of raping his personal assistant, but according to a tape recording she made, he said he is "99 percent" sure that he didn’t have sex with her . . . . . Major Irony Alert: A New York City condominium board is suing a Subway sandwich shop because the smell of all that fresh bread grosses them out . . . . . The bully-prevention policy of Kiriani boys’ high school in Kenya: Send the 20 uncircumcized boys home until they get fixed because, otherwise, they’ll get beat up . . . . . Just as the annual inflation rate in Zimbabwe broke 1,500 percent, supporters of President Bob said they were starting a drive to raise about $1.2M to give him a proper 83rd birthday party.