Watercooler Stories

By United Press International  |  Sept. 19, 2005 at 6:30 AM
share with facebook
share with twitter

Some Mass. road signs incorrect

BOSTON, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Massachusetts highway officials have acknowledged some new road signs give the wrong mileage distances.

One sign on Interstate 93 north near Exit 45 in Andover says Manchester, N.H., is 42 miles away, when it is really 28 miles away. A sign in Needham says Wellesley is 7 miles away, when it is more like 3 miles away, reported the Boston Globe Saturday.

State officials said they are still trying to determine how many of the 164 road signs -- installed throughout the state by an outside contractor as part of a $1 million transportation project this summer -- are incorrect.

"We've redoubled our efforts to make sure something like this doesn't happen again," said Jon Carlisle, Massachusetts Highway Department spokesman.

Feng shui controversial in China

NANJING, China, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- The art of feng shui, which originated in China but was later banned there by communists as "feudal superstition" is causing controversy in China.

Although decorators of fashionable homes worldwide have embraced feng shui, a decision by a Chinese university to teach a course in feng shui and architecture has spurred a furious debate, reported the Daily Telegraph Saturday.

One side feels the design principles are only superstitious nonsense, while the other feels it is part of an ancient Chinese culture that helps create balance and harmony in buildings.

"China's reconstruction is rapid and if we copy only Western architecture and ignore Chinese culture, that is no good," said Xu Xixian, a professor at Nanjing University, who is to teach the feng shui course.

"Many buildings have ignored feng shui, and the effects will be felt."

Teen Ink challenges teens to help others

NEW YORK, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Teen Ink magazine is challenging U.S. teens to assemble shoe boxes full of relief supplies for teens affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Teen Ink suggests that the shoeboxes include new or like-new items such as school supplies, t-shirts, hats, jeans, accessories, phone cards, gift cards, watches, calculators, DVDs, CDs and other items important to teens. The boxes will be released to major relief organizations serving teens.

"This call for teenagers to help other teens has had a very positive response from young people around the country who are looking for a way to help," said publisher John Meyer. "Who better than a fellow teen to know what someone who's lost everything would want -- there are needs beyond food and shelter."

More information is available at the magazine's Web site teenink.com.

Mass. municipal water as good as bottled

BOSTON, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- In a taste test, the ozone-infused tap water of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority was judged as good or better than pricey bottled water.

Frederick A. Laskey, executive director of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, had been boasting that his water was every bit as good as the bottled water that Americans spend about $10 billion a year on.

The judges were: Jim Koch, brewer and founder of Boston Beer Co., the maker of Samuel Adams beer; Geoffrey Fallon, the sommelier at Les Zygomates Wine Bar & Bistro; and John McNabb, the research director at the environmental group Clean Water Action.

The bottled waters ranged in price from 79 cents a gallon to $6.82 a gallon. The municipal water cost a half-cent a gallon.

The testers failed to detect any significant difference between the tap water and a variety of bottled waters that included Fiji, Aquafina and Stop & Shop Acadia water, reported the Boston Globe Sunday.

Laskey admitted he was sweating out the taste-test because his palate wasn't very sophisticated.

"I often drink wine with ice cubes," he said.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories