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Q&A: Michael Vick's prison job kept under wraps

Vick's prison job under wraps

Reports said that former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick makes 12 cents an hour working in prison. What is his job?

The Feds won't disclose what specific job assignment Vick or any other inmate may have. All sentenced inmates are required to work, with exceptions, and are assigned to a work detail based on institution need. Typical jobs include food service worker, orderly, plumber, painter, warehouse worker and groundskeeper.

On average, a workday is 7.5 hours, and inmates earn 12 to 40 cents per hour, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Vick pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting charges and is serving a 23-month sentence in Leavenworth, Kan. His scheduled release date is July 20.

No guarantees, but some logic

With all the talk about drilling off the U.S. coasts for more oil, what guarantee do we have that all that oil would go to us? Wouldn't the corporations doing the drilling sell the oil to the highest bidders on the international market? Would it really affect domestic prices for home heating oil or gasoline?

The U.S. Minerals Management Service estimates that undiscovered fields in the Outer Continental Shelf — the majority of which is now closed to drilling — contain 86-billion barrels of oil and 420-trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

If those areas were opened to drilling, there's no guarantee the oil would end up in the U.S. market. However, energy experts say much of it would remain close to home because of the added expense of shipping it to foreign markets.

How the increased production would affect prices is hard to say. One factor would be how much new oil is produced. And even if the Outer Continental Shelf were opened today, it could take years before any of that oil reaches U.S. markets because of the time-intensive process of finding and producing new fields.

Playing nickname games

How do you get the nickname Dick from Richard? Hank from Henry? Jack from John?

We'll start with Jack and John. In medieval times, the name John was modified slightly in Germanic languages to Jankin or Jackin, which was shortened to Jack. Probably the most famous example of this was President John F. Kennedy, widely called Jack.

Hank originally was a nickname for John, since Hankin was another derivation of Jankin. Since the 1600s, though, Hank has been more closely associated with Henry, probably because of the Dutch diminutive Henk.

Dick out of Richard also dates to medieval times. It's thought that the first letter changed because the English were trying to copy the trilled way the Normans, descendants of Vikings, pronounced the word Richard. The English couldn't quite pull it off, and the R just sounded like a D.

Q&A: Michael Vick's prison job kept under wraps 10/20/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 4:22pm]
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