Watercooler Stories

United Press International

Children's playground games 'uncool'

LONDON, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Traditional children's playground games such as tag, marbles and Hopscotch are no longer held in high favor by British children.


The Mirror reported Monday the British charity Woolworths Kids First surveyed 3,000 parents and found while 70 percent of the parents had found tag fun, now fewer than two of 10 children race around trying to catch each other.

Six of 10 parents said they skipped while playing, compared with less than one in 10 children do so today. More than 40 percent of the parents had marbles as children, but only 0.5 percent of children do today.

The survey found traditional playground games, such as hopscotch -- that dates back more than 200 years - is viewed as uncool by today's youth, who prefer to play computer games, Gameboys or trading card games such as Yu-gi-oh!

"Old school games are just not as relevant," said Trevor Dahl of Woolworths Kids First. "In many ways, kids have become too cool."

Woolworths Kids First this year started a national program of grants totaling $1.8 million for the next three years for creation and improvement of British school playgrounds.


Boy threatens to behead 7-year-old student

DUDLEY, England, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- A 10-year-old boy, who allegedly threatened to behead 7-year-old classmate Nathan Williams outside their school in Dudley, England, has been expelled.

The grandfather of the alleged victim said the unidentified 10-year-old of Asian descent might have been influenced by recent gruesome scenes from Iraq on television, the Mirror reported Monday.

"What the boy did must be connected to what's happening in the news with terrorists beheading people," said the victim's grandfather, Paul Williams. "He must be copying what he's seen."

Police allege the boy boasted to friends he was "a trainee Iraqi assassin" and a few days later he waved a Stanley knife under Williams' chin, saying, "I'm going to cut your head off."

The incident occurred three days after the beheading of U.S. hostage Jack Hensley in Iraq last month; however it only came to light after British hostage Ken Bigley had been executed by his captors.

Canada clamps down on Internet doctors

TORONTO, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Canada is clamping down on doctors who allegedly co-sign prescriptions for U.S. patients purchasing drugs on the Internet, the Globe and Mail reported.


Four physicians, including an 80-year-old ear, nose and throat specialist face disciplinary hearings for the lucrative practice, the newspaper said Monday.

Stanley Gore is facing a disciplinary panel on allegations he co-signed prescriptions for U.S. patients. At a hearing in Toronto last week, he said he earned $220,000 over six months while working for the Internet pharmacy, The Canadian Drug Store Inc. But he said his role was verifying prescriptions for accuracy, not co-signing them.

Without Canadian doctors, the Internet pharmacy business, which has some 100 virtual drugstores and $1-billion in annual sales, could not survive. Prescriptions written by U.S. doctors for U.S. patients require a signature from a physician in Canada before a Canadian pharmacist can fill them.

A New Brunswick doctor has received an interim suspension; two Manitoba doctors received reprimands and fines, while four others in that province were censured. In Alberta, doctors have been warned to not take part in the practice.

Political TV ads overwhelm voters

TOLEDO, Ohio, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Political ads are taking an increasing -- almost mind-numbing -- share of TV commercial time in battleground states, the Washington Post reported Monday.

For example, in Toledo, Ohio, between March and late September there were 14,273 commercials about the presidential race aired on the city's four leading TV stations, ad tracking firm TNSI/Campaign Media Analysis Group of Arlington said.


And spending on political spots in the northwestern Ohio community will surpass $8 million between July and Election Day, said Mary Gerken, general sales manager of WTVG, the city's ABC station. That's about three times the total during the entire 2000 campaign, Gerken said.

For many area residents, it's all a bit confusing.

Teacher Rick Buss, for one, has a hard time recalling any specific commercial for President Bush or John Kerry.

"There's just so many of them that they kind of blur together. The average person can't differentiate who's saying what. It's very confusing."

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