After I finish writing the stories (and editing the contributions) each Sunday evening, I send them to a group of volunteer editors so they can check them that evening, or Monday morning (well before the newsletter comes out). They catch a lot of the typos, poor construction, and other goobers. (They only read the stories, not the Comments section or Honorary Unsubscribe, since there isn’t time to send that text to them before publication.)
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Last Week’s Story about the teacher-student sex scandal in a Colorado school — the principal and vice principal were indicted for failure to report the case, as required since they’re “mandatory reporters” of child abuse under state law — is followed up this week by another that really applies to the whole mindset.
Updated with Post-Eclipse photos and video. (Jump to Updates)
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon gets between the sun and Earth, casting a shadow on the Earth’s surface. This can happen only during a new moon when the sun and the moon are in conjunction as seen from Earth in an alignment referred to as syzygy.
Long-time readers know that This is True was created while I still had a Day Job. It was a very cool job: I was on the engineering staff at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1986-1996 — True was started in 1994, so there was a two-year overlap).
I Think Alexander Went Too Easy on the schools in a story this week. First, let’s start with the story, from True’s 23 February 2014 issue:
The first most people in the world heard of paramedics was “Johnny and Roy” (Randolph Mantooth and Kevin Tighe) — the lead medics in the Emergency! TV series (NBC, 1972-1977) based on the real life exploits of the Los Angeles County Fire Dept., which was one of the early pioneers in modern Emergency Medical Services.
But they weren’t the first.
The NBC television show Emergency!, which ran 123 episodes on NBC from 1972 to 1977, plus six made-for-TV movies that aired in 1978 and 1979, did a lot to make the public aware of professional Medics, playing a significant role in elevating the profession from mere “ambulance drivers.”
It’s 2012. There are no more adventures. Been there, done that, seen it, ho hum, right?
There are still adventures to be had in this world, and several of them happened this past week.
I posted this on Facebook on Sunday (22 January). The response was amazing:
Today I’m working while listening to my collection of “weird Christmas music,” which I’ve compiled over the years. Things like the “Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth” mashup duet — by Bing Crosby and David Bowie in 1977. Yeah, really.
There’s a story that’s going around (and around, and around) that’s so full of crap, I thought it was time to set the record straight — it has turned into an urban legend. It also has some profound implications on how someone is trying to manipulate you.
Old jokes clogging your inbox are bad enough. Stupid “warnings” about the most unlikely hazards are worse: they irritate the smart people and panic the dumb ones. Now and then, when someone forwards an urban legend to a bunch of people, they really pay a big price.
I can’t just title this page “The End of the World” because that has been predicted before. And before that. And before that, and — well, you get the idea.
Yet another astounding story from the front lines — our nation’s schools.
From True’s 28 November 2010 issue:
People often try to tell me California is the weirdest state in the union. No way, I always reply: Florida is. By far.
My recent blog post analyzing a Zero Tolerance case (Patrick Timoney’s “Gun”) showed just how crazy people can get trying to control others, and their desire to punish non-transgressions just the same as if the person was actually doing something wrong. Most people fully got the point. Others, to my shock, didn’t.
I generally don’t want suggestions for True’s Honorary Unsubscribe feature; my usual problem is having far too many possibilities for the one slot each week. In July 2009 a new trend started: people wanting me to do an Honorary Unsubscribe write-up for Ed Freeman, a brave Vietnam War helicopter pilot who saved about 30 shot-up kids and was awarded the Medal of Honor — the U.S.’s highest military decoration.
Some readers will be a bit puzzled why I would spread this message in my blog: “Do not, under any circumstances, be interviewed by the police without advice from a lawyer.” You have a right to remain silent, and I urge you to exercise that right. Especially if you are innocent.
Anytime I run a “gun story” I get a lot of comment from both hugely polarized Americans, who want to rant for or against guns, and foreign readers, who don’t understand the American “obsession” with arms. I’m going to take a stab at helping foreign readers understand it a bit better. So first, the “gun story” that prompted this essay, from True’s 15 February 2009 issue: