Watercooler Stories

By United Press International  |  Nov. 16, 2004 at 6:30 AM
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Doughnut beer honors 'The Simpsons' show

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- A Washington, D.C.-area bar is serving glazed-doughnut-flavored beer to celebrate the 16th anniversary of Fox TV's "The Simpsons."

Homer Simpson, the overweight, balding dad in the googly-eyed Simpsons clan, often says "Mmmmm...doughnuts," during episodes.

"It really does taste like a doughnut," an ad for Dr. Dremo's Taphouse, in Arlington, Va., said of the rye-based beer.

When the doughnut beer is mixed with chocolate stout, it tastes like a chocolate doughnut, a manager said.

Teen acquitted in toy gun incident

NEWCASTLE, England, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- A 13-year-old boy who pointed a toy gun at a block of apartments in Newcastle, England, was acquitted of a disorderly conduct charge Monday.

Rory Casey's mother told The Mirror the whole affair was blown out of proportion.

"It's so laughable," she said. "What he did was foolish, but I don't think it was criminal."

Rory was spotted on a security camera pointing a cheap plastic gun at the Newcastle apartments. He told police he was only trying test the reach of the gun's red laser sight.

"I know I have done wrong here," the teen told the court. "I didn't realize it would have so much effect."

Rory's mother called for greater consistency in how laws are applied because a similar incident in Newcastle resulted in two students just being warned.

DVD replaces live Spanish teacher

MILWAUKEE, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Third-grade students at Indian Hill Elementary School in River Hills, Wis., gather in front of a television for Spanish class this term instead of a teacher.

Budget cuts and falling enrollment forced the cash-strapped school district to let a part-time language teacher go and the children now learn from a $3,000 DVD Spanish instruction package produced by Northern Arizona University that has been used in 2,000 schools nationwide.

The district says it is saving thousands in salary and benefits.

Reaction to technology replacing a teacher has been mixed. The school's only remaining Spanish teacher said parents are glad the school still offers foreign-language instruction in third grade but an 8-year-old told the newspaper, "I like to learn from teachers."

Educators worry students learning from the DVD language program will not be as academically successful as in a class where students interact with an expert teacher.

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