GOOD MORNING FRANKLIN COUNTY
Today is Friday, January 28, 2005. Expect cloudy skies today with a high of 48 degrees. On this day in history:
1922 – The American Pro Football association is renamed the National Football League.
1932 – Wisconsin enacts the first state unemployment insurance act.
1936 – Actor Alan Alda is born.
1956 – Elvis Presley appears on television for the first time.
1978 – "Fantasy Island" premieres on ABC television.
1986 – The space shuttle Challenger explodes moments after liftoff.
Last weekend a major snowstorm hit Pennsylvania, New York, and many of the New England states. The mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, said that his city was cleaned up and ready to go just 24 hours after the storm. The quick snow cleanup and removal only cost the city $1 million – PER INCH. With 14 inches of snow in the city, that's a cool $14 million.
I found a neat web site that helps both children and adults learn about U.S. and world geography. At sheppardsoftware.com you can access all kinds of games and puzzles designed to enrich your geographical knowledge.
A NAME IS A NAME
When I was a teenager I worked at the J.C. Penney store in downtown Moultrie, Georgia. I sold men's clothing and shoes and was paid a whopping $1.65 per hour. I had no title, no name badge, and my sense of value at the store was determined by the daily whims of the manager.
Today, things are different. Some businesses try real hard to make their employees feel like they are part of a team. Other companies try to make workers feel good by giving them interesting titles. A salesman is now a sales associate. A person working on a sewer line is called a waste disposal technician. I even heard of a minister who had the title of Director of Spiritual Formation. I'm hip to the changing times but I have to admit that I saw a title the other day that was really out there. A cashier at a store in the Shoals area had on a badge that identified him as a Customer Experience Officer.
THE NUMBERS GAME
I'm always a little skeptical when people try to make a point with statistics because numbers can be misleading. The author of a recent article in a magazine was trying to prove that video games are influencing culture more than movies. His statistics seemed to prove his point when he noted that the video game Halo 2 produced $125 million in sales on its first day of release compared to $110 million for the movie "Spiderman 2." What he did not say was that the video game sold for $49 compared to $7 for the average movie ticket. That means roughly 2.25 million copies of Halo 2 were sold compared to nearly 15 million tickets to "Spiderman 2." Now which one would you say had the bigger impact on culture?
NOW THAT TAKES
A man from Independence, Missouri, was charged with filing a false police report when he said someone carved a vulgar slur on his forehead. Authorities were suspicious because the words were both backwards and reverse as if someone wrote them while looking in a mirror. (From AP reports)
THIS IS YOUR BRAIN
Nicholas Valeri was arrested when he gave a cashier a counterfeit $20 bill at a Wendy's in Hempfield Township, Pennsylvania. He told police that it wasn't his fault because the funny money came from the $240 he got from the marijuana he sold earlier in the day.
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
A state legislator in Virginia has proposed a bill that would make it illegal for anyone to wear pants that allow underwear to be exposed. Ladies low-rider pants and men's loose-fitting jeans are just a few of the culprits mentioned in the legislation. If passed, violators would be fined fifty dollars. A few of the media campaigns that would be used if the bill passes include:
If you're saggin'' your wallet's gonna be laggin'.
Pants too low will cost you some dough!
If your undies are showin'' guess where 50 bucks will be goin'?
Richard Parker is Minister of Students and Education at First Baptist Church in Russellville. You can e-mail him your comments at RParker@russellvilleFBC.org.