Casual cursing becoming the norm
MILWAUKEE, May 23 (UPI) -- Many teachers and parents are not surprised these days to hear a tirade of swear words, profanity and foul language in casual daily conservation.
Strong language once reserved to express extreme anger or frustration in extraordinary situations has become common in U.S. schools and in the street -- from use of the "f-word" to the "b-word" for a female dog.
A 20-year-old woman told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the "b-word" can actually be a compliment. "I use it to reference a lot of people, not just women, and not always as something bad," she says.
The newspaper reports linguists have found many people who curse habitually in ordinary speech appear totally oblivious that others may find it offensive.
"Two-thirds (of swearing) is about frustration and anger," Timothy Jay, author of "Why We Curse: A Neuro-Psycho-Social Theory of Speech," told the newspaper. Other language experts say all the cursing and foul language in movies and on cable television has changed perceptions of what is acceptable.
Professor bringing Hollywood to podcasting
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., May 23 (UPI) -- While lectures make up most college podcasts, a Purdue University professor is using Hollywood-style production techniques to keep things interesting.
Laurie Iten, associate professor of biology, uses short video clips, soundtracks, retro graphics and wacky sound effects in online video tutorials and reviews for her first-year students.
"A lab manual is just not the same as visual instruction," she said in a release from the Big Ten university in West Lafayette, Ind., "You can read a description, but until you see it, it really doesn't sink in."
In one podcast, students are asked to help Kenny, an animated character in Comedy Central's hit comedy "South Park," find out if he's anemic.
More than 70 Purdue classrooms are wired to record lectures and more than 60 courses have regular podcasts.
Iten calls the enhanced podcasts "Rewind/Flash-Forward."
Sen. Clinton gets 'Respect' at home
WASHINGTON, May 23 (UPI) -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., has an impressive lineup of old school rock 'n' soul on her iPod, the New York Post reports.
Her 1,000 selections range from Aretha Franklin's "Respect" to The Eagles' "Take It to the Limit" to the Beatles' "Hey Jude."
"I'm a child of the '60s and '70s," she told The Post.
In addition to some newer rock, such as U2's "Beautiful Day," Clinton's birthday gift from her husband, former President Bill Clinton, also contains a healthy dose of Motown as well some classical music as well.
"I've got everything -- a total smorgasbord," she said.
She said she mostly listens to her iPod while doing paperwork at home.
"We have one of these devices that you can plug it in and have it played it over speakers, so you don't always have to have it in your ear, which bothers me," she said. "After a while, that can get a little irritating."
Rosie still the long jump champ
ANGELS CAMP, Calif., May 23 (UPI) -- Claussen's Cruzor jumped its way to the championship of the Calaveras County (Calif.) Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee.
Classen's Cruzor hopped 19 feet, 7 3/4 inches to make owner Mike Nash $750 richer, the Modesto (Calif.) Bee reported.
Nash beat Calaveras Frog Jockies teammate Jon Kitchell, whose bullfrog Whipper jumped 18 feet, 6 3/4 inches to pick up a $350 check, the Bee said. Kitchell won last year's competition
Neither frog came close to the 20-year-old record hop of more than 21 feet set by Rosie the Ribiter. The annual frog competition was inspired by Mark Twain in his short story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County."