Watercooler Stories – March 1, 2012 – UPI.com

Officials apologize for ‘KKK’ chicken

METHUEN, Mass., Feb. 29 (UPI) — Officials in a Massachusetts school district apologized after about 6,500 elementary school students received lunch menus featuring “KKK Chicken Tenders.”

Methuen Schools Superintendent Judith Scannell said the menus were supposed to read “KK Chicken Tenders,” meaning “Krispy, Krunchy,” but an employee accidentally hit the “K” key a third time while typing out the documents, The (North Andover) Eagle-Tribune reported Wednesday.

“As she was typing it, she hit a third ‘K.’ It was an oversight,” Scannell said. “I apologize for the school district if we offended anybody. This was cleaned up immediately and a new menu sent out.”

Scannell said the corrected menus were sent home with students Monday.

Law used to cite bird-flipping man nixed

BALLWIN, Mo., Feb. 29 (UPI) — Officials in a Missouri town said they are doing away with an ordinance used to cite a man for displaying his middle finger to a fellow motorist.

Ballwin City Administrator Robert Kuntz said the ordinance, which was used to cite Steven Pogue, 64, for flipping the bird while driving in April, prohibited “extending a body part” out the window of a motor vehicle and was designed to keep people from sticking their feet out of car windows, KMOX-AM, St. Louis, reported Wednesday.

“Ultimately, I guess freedom of speech and expression and how an operator handles himself is that person’s business, as long as he’s safe, and not government’s,” Kuntz said.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri applauded the decision to throw out the ordinance. The group had threatened the city with legal action before the case against Pogue was dropped.

“The ordinance allowed police officers the discretion to haul into court citizens who expressed a viewpoint with which the officers disagreed,” said Brenda Jones, executive director of the ACLU of Eastern Missouri. “Repealing the law fits within our nation’s finest traditions of allowing free expressions without fear of arrest.”

340-ton boulder begins trek to museum

RIVERSIDE, Calif., Feb. 29 (UPI) — The 340-ton granite boulder chosen to be part of a Los Angeles County Museum of Art installation has completed the first 5 miles of its 106-mile journey.

Mark Albrecht, project manager Emmert International, which is handling transportation of the massive rock, said the boulder left the Stone Valley quarry in Riverside Tuesday night and came to rest early Wednesday about 5 miles away at the intersection of Mission Boulevard and Bellegrave Avenue in Ontario, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

“We want to limit our travel tonight,” Albrecht said prior to the 5-mile trek. “We don’t want to bite off more than we can chew.”

Albrecht said the 200-foot apparatus used to transport the boulder and its 20-strong fleet of support vehicles makes fast travel difficult.

The boulder is scheduled to arrive at the museum after 11 days of travel to become the centerpiece of artist Michael Heizer’s “Levitated Mass” sculpture.

Professors propose simplified calendar

BALTIMORE, Feb. 29 (UPI) — A pair of professors at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore said they want to do away with leap years in favor of an all new calendar.

Astrophysicist Richard Conn Henry and economist Steve Hanke said their proposed calendar would feature 364 days to a year with an extra “mini-month” week added at the end of December every five or six years to compensate for the lack of Leap Years, The Christian Science Monitor reported Wednesday.

The professors said their calendar would ensure holidays and birthdays always fall on the same day of the week and make things easier on both individuals and businesses when it comes to subjects such as calculating interest.

The men said their calendar would be split into 91-day quarters that would total 12 months, eight of which would have 30 days and the rest would have 31.

“Our plan offers a stable calendar that is absolutely identical from year to year and which allows the permanent, rational planning of annual activities, from school to work holidays,” Henry said.

Watercooler Stories – March 1, 2012 – UPI.com.

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