Student loses points for poor punctuation
A British high school class got an exam that included the following question: "Describe the room you are sitting in." One student went minimalist, and provided a two-word answer. The second word was "off." The first word started with "F," which also amounted to his eventual grade on the test, though he did receive partial credit. The examiner, Peter Buckroyd, gave the student two out of a possible 27 points. "It would be wicked to give it zero, because it does show some very basic skills, like conveying meaning and spelling," Buckroyd told the Times of London. The student missed some points for poor punctuation, though. "If it had had an exclamation mark, it would gotten a little bit more because it would have been showing a little of skill."
Poor and happy
TV great elixir if economy ails you
Who says there is no good economic news? Nobel Prize-winning behavioral economist Daniel Kahnemanhas reports in the journal Science that rich people generally spend less time doing fun things than poor people. He found that people who make less than $20,000 spend more than 33 percent of their time relaxing, while those that make more than $100,000 spend less than 20 percent of their time this way. And when they do relax, the rich usually do things structured and stressful — like exercise — while the poor are more likely to spend their me-time in passive pursuits of leisure — like watching television. While one way to read the data would suggest that all the nouveau poor people out there can expect to be happier, Kahnemanhas' conclusion is that people who want to be rich should just work harder. Hmmmm, interesting theory.
Dutch giraffe springs its circus brethren
In what no doubt sets the plot line for a blockbuster animated feature film, a giraffe in a Dutch circus kicked a hole in a cage, setting free 15 camels, two zebras and an undetermined number of llamas and pigs on the streets of Amsterdam early Monday. They wandered the streets for several hours before being rounded up and returned to the circus, but not before providing an interesting wakeup call to several citizens. "You have to imagine somebody rubbing his eyes first thing in the morning and saying, 'Am I seeing things or is that 15 camels walking past?' " said police spokesman Arnout Aben.
12-million ornery bees see freedom
A truck carrying about 12-million honey bees on Canada's largest highway overturned near St. Leonard, New Brunswick, setting its cargo free. Since it was raining, the bees pretty much just stayed right at the truck, helping the recovery process. But a bunch of loose honey bees makes for an interesting interview. "You certainly don't want to go walking through a field of disoriented, agitated and wet honey bees," said Richard Duplain of the New Brunswick Beekeepers Association.
Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.