Old School Textbooks

In the states they have elections for people to run the school boards. In Oklahoma the Republican candidate has suggested a use for old school text books. Rather than ship them to disadvantaged areas in Africa, South America or Asia, if elected, he said he would put thick used textbooks under every desk for students to use in self-defense.

He has observed the increase in school violence, and his solution is that students use books as body armour. Of course, he has missed the point that money could be saved by actually using the thick text books for reading...

As Pharyngula says:

He has a video of himself firing an arsenal at various books. It's brilliant: he's going to appeal to all the gun-nut voters, all the voters who hate books, and every idiot in Oklahoma. That's a big slice of the population.

One flaw: true Republican patriots might wonder why he isn't shipping all his excess bullet-stopping books to Iraq to protect our troops.

My first thought was 'Is it April already?' - this is simply insane. It is also very, very funny.

Oh, and in the video we learn that a thick calculus book isn't quite enough to stop a shot from an AK47.

Won't let us cheat? We won't take the exam!

In Orissa, at least 56 students walked out of their English Exam as they were not allowed to cheat. They claim that their teacher rarely showed up, and so they did not know enough English to be able to read the questions in the paper - they wanted to be able to copy from their English text book. They said "When we cannot read, how will we answer?"....

Russian Crisis - Beslan

News is coming through that the siege of the Russian School is coming to an end and near naked children fled as the assault progressed. According to Bloomberg, the storming occured as hostages began to break out.

I would be surprised if the SAS had not been offered to the Russians, but like the Kursk submarine tragedy of 2000 the Russians probably decided they could handle it. In any regard, if the storming was prompted as hostages were managing to escape, then there was no choice - there could have been many deaths.

At the time of writing, there are reports of 10 dead and 200 wounded, but this is unconfirmed.

For the life of me, I can't imagine what the hostage takers hoped to achieve. It's not going to bring sympathy to their cause - schoolchildren for goodness sake... and as a 'shock and awe' effort, it was too drawn out, given time for the hostage takers to be thwarted.