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March 12, 2004

The Pinellas (Fla.) school system is ready to approve a new technology that uses student fingerprints to keep track of who is riding school buses.

Beginning in the fall, the fingerprint system would identify students as they board and leave. School officials say the $2-million project will save money and dramatically improve safety for students, whose fingerprints will serve as authorization to board and disembark.

Good to know that little Osama bin Laden Jr. won't be able to slip on board amidst the pack.




Under fire for its menu amid growing concern about obesity in America, McDonald's Corp. said Tuesday that it will phase out its supersize drinks and fries in the U.S. by the end of the year.

The company was one of the primary movers in popularizing giant-size fast-food meals more than a decade ago.

The move comes just a couple of months before a new documentary called "Super Size Me" is scheduled to hit movie theaters. The film chronicles the rapid deterioration of health of the movie's director, Morgan Spurlock, after he spent 30 days eating nothing but McDonald's food.

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What? No extra-large fries? Then could we have two orders of the large fries, please?




A Harvard political institute criticized the hip retailer Urban Outfitters on Monday for a new T-shirt campaign declaring that "Voting is for Old People."

"The shirt's message could not be further from the truth," wrote Harvard Institute of Politics director Dan Glickman in a letter to Urban Outfitters CEO Richard A. Hayne.

"We would be eager to work with you to suggest alternative products that send the right message to America's young people, and better reflect the considerable social conscience and political participation of today's youth," the letter said. "You might consider 'Voting Rocks!"'

"Voting Rocks?" Only an old person would come up with such a lame slogan.




Prosecutors planned to drop assault charges against Pittsburgh quarterback Rod Rutherford recently after his accuser declined to pursue charges, according to court documents and his lawyer.

Rutherford, 23, was charged with assaulting the woman and kicking out a car window outside a nightclub Sept. 1. Rutherford's attorney, James Wymard, said those charges would be dropped at a hearing Tuesday afternoon.

"They have since come to know each other," Wymard said. "He's apologized and you know, he's paid for the damage to the window and medical bills and they're happy."

Well why didn't you SAY you're about to become a high-paid NFL quarterback. Sure you don't want to kick out the other window?




The number 666, which many Christians recognize as the "mark of the beast," is appearing on movie tickets for Gibson's film at a Georgia theater, drawing complaints from some moviegoers.

The machine that prints tickets assigned the number 666 as a prefix on all the tickets for the film, said Gary Smith, owner of the Movies at Berry Square in northwest Georgia. The 666 begins a series of numbers that are listed below the name of the movie, the date, time and price.

"It's from our computer and it's absolutely a coincidence," Smith said. "It has nothing to do with the film company or any vendor. It's completely in our computer."

But that still wouldn't explain the slaughtered farm animals behind the popcorn cart.

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