Watercooler Stories

Oct. 8, 2012 at 6:30 AM
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Lunch lady told her food is too good

FALUN, Sweden, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- A Swedish lunch lady has been told to tone down her cooking as students at other schools do not enjoy the same caliber of food, school officials said.

Annika Eriksson, a lunch lady at school in Falun, used to bake fresh bread for students, as well as serve them an assortment of 15 vegetables at lunchtime, The Local.se reported.

But now, she has been asked to stop because it was unfair that students at other schools didn't have the same meal options.

"It has been claimed that we have been spoiled and that it's about time we do as everyone else," Eriksson said.

From now on, the school's vegetable buffet will be halved in size and Eriksson's handmade loafs will be replaced with store-bought bread.

"A menu has been developed. ... It is about making a collective effort on quality, to improve school meals overall and to try and ensure everyone does the same," Katarina Lindberg, head of the body responsible for the school diet plan, told the local Falukuriren newspaper.

German high school bans homework

NORTH RHINE-WESTPHALIA, Germany, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- A German high school has decided to do away with homework to help pupils unwind, school officials said.

The homework ban at Elsa-Brandstrom high school in North Rhine-Westphalia came after Germany's high school system cut a year, making school days longer, The Local.de reported.

Head teacher at Elsa-Brandstrom, Brigitte Fontein, told the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper Friday that generally "no child would be having their free time dominated by doing school work."

Instead, class time would be used to do more work, as the school has mostly double periods, explained Fontein. Most parents are in favor of the change.

Michael von Tettau, also from the Elsa-Brandstrom, said that for students, "there is barely enough time for sport or to learn a musical instrument," and a 44-hour working week was just too much, he added.

The school will test-run the homework ban for the next two year to see how effective it is, school officials said.

Hot funeral trend: Pre-need obits

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Funeral homes in South Florida say one of the hottest trends in "pre-need" funeral planning is do-it-yourself obituaries.

Rick Waites, director of Palm Beach National Chapel in Lake Worth, said he is getting more customers who have the obit ready.

"Sometimes it's handwritten, typed, or they will bring a printout from a computer. The only thing missing is the date of death,'' he told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. "They want to get their story across when they are gone and not leave it to other people."

Waites said his funeral home offers help with the obits.

Ellen Gower, 72, of Vero Beach said she is writing obits for herself and her 78-year-old husband.

She decided to go DIY after writing obits for an uncle and brother.

"When you write your own, you can fashion it as lightheartedly or as seriously as YOU would like, and hopefully the way it's written, in addition to the content, will help to convey a sense of who you were,'' she told the Sun Sentinel in an email.

'Gangnam Style' takes world by storm

SEOUL, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Olympic rhythmic gymnasts have joined the list of devotees to "Gangnam Style," South Korean pop star Psy's international hit dance craze song.

The song went viral when it was released in mid-July and has amassed more than 370 million views on YouTube, Sky News Australia reported.

Olympic rhythmic gymnasts from across the world gathered in Seoul Friday to dance to the latest K-pop hits, including "Gangnam Style."

South Korean Olympic rhythmic gymnast Son Yeon-jae said she was surprised how quickly everyone grasped the style.

"I did not think they would get familiar with K-pop dancing in two, three days. But they could follow the dance style as soon as they saw the video. They dance to K-pop very well, some of them dance better than me," she said.

In the Philippines, 900 inmates at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, who gained fame in 2007 with a rendition of "Thriller" that went viral, danced to the song for a YouTube video, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Warden Romeo Manansala said tourists are welcome to see a performance on the last Saturday of every month at the penitentiary in the central island province of Cebu.

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