Watercooler Stories

By ALEX CUKAN, United Press International   |   Sept. 29, 2003 at 6:00 AM   |   0 comments

PC ADDICTS DESTROY COMPUTERS

Some 300 self-described computer addicts in Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine, participated in the "First Open Computer Destruction Championship," to destroy their PCs.

The event, organized by a radio station, tried to raise awareness of the dangers of spending too much time in front of a computer, the BBC reports.

Participants competed by throwing a keyboard, kicking a computer mouse and the "creative destruction" of computer monitors.

"After sitting at the keyboard all day, I needed revenge," according to one competitor.

Ironically, each of the competition's winners won a new computer.


TOURISTS IN MEXICO EXPLOIT CHILDREN

A seminar and vigil was held in Nogales, Ariz., to call attention to the growing problem of American tourists traveling to Mexico to sexually exploit Mexican children.

Singer and actor Ricky Martin has voiced support for the effort.

"I started to find out about child sex tourism, the practice of traveling abroad to sexually exploit poor children," Martin says in a statement. "The numbers involved in this terrible form of tourism are horrifying."

Internationally, about 25 percent of the people who travel abroad to abuse children are Americans, according to the ECPAT-USA, an New York City organization to end childhood prostitution, child pornography and trafficking of children for sexual purposes.


CHILDREN MAY CONTRIBUTE TO BANKRUPTCY

Today's two-income families earn 75 percent more than their single-income counterparts of a generation ago, but have less disposable income.

According to "The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke," families with children are now twice as likely to file for bankruptcy as families with no children.

The authors, who derived their statistics from three decades of data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics, say 1 out of every 7 couples with children will go bankrupt by the end of the decade, the New York Post reports.

The authors say this generation has had a 600 percent rise in consumer debt and a 400 percent increase in bankruptcies over the last generation.


BIG DIG REACHES 20TH BIRTHDAY

The Big Dig in Boston is turning 20 years old, but there is no cake to celebrate, just an urgency to get the public works project done.

In September 1983, then Gov. Michael S. Dukakis pronounced he would dig a tunnel beneath the harbor to Logan Airport, and "save the region from death by gridlock."

The price tag 20 years ago was $2.2 billion and the project had a completion date 1995, the Boston Globe reports.

The completion date is now 2005 at the earliest, and the price tag is almost $15 billion.

Topics: Ricky Martin
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