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LAUGH LINES

Punch Lines

September 04, 1997

Education Beat: Gov. Pete Wilson signed a law that requires teachers to be computer-competent, says Alex Kaseberg. "One test will be that if a teacher is asked to describe a hard drive and says 'the 405 on Friday afternoon,' he is gone."

"The Public Broadcasting Service has begun 'PBS Aloft,' its new in-flight programming. Halfway through the program the flight attendants circulate among the passengers seeking donations." (Bob Mills)

* "Alistair Cook narrated the inaugural program, 'The American Experience: A Tribute to the Boarding Pass.' " (Mills)

"A study reported in the AMA Journal says that new medical school graduates can make an accurate diagnosis with a stethoscope only 20% of the time and most don't know how to use it properly," says Mills. "The worst offenders blew into one end and said they expected money to come out the other."

* "In addition, they only succeeded 5% of the time in warming the stethoscope before using it." (Kaseberg)

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Washington Follies: "President Clinton is bracing for more disclosures from Paula Jones and more money scandals," says Argus Hamilton. "It's all good fun. Until the U.S. has an external enemy, we will continue choosing our presidents for their tabloid value."

"The Clintons went to a clambake at Martha's Vineyard," says Kenny Noble Cortes. "The Republicans are planning a cookout of their own this week--Al Gore."

* "Fund-raising hearings are turning to Gore," says the Cutler Daily Scoop. "And you thought this scandal didn't have any excitement."

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New in Sports: Major league baseball officials met on possible realignment. "One major problem is that every team wants to be in the same division as the Phillies," says the Daily Scoop.

* "The idea is to boost natural rivalries--White Sox and Cubs, Dodgers and Angels, George Steinbrenner and his employees." (Scoop)

"Oakland Raider owner Al Davis is asking his players, 'Just when, baby?' " (Paul Ecker)

Pete Rose Jr. made his major league debut and got his first career hit as a member of his father's old team, the Cincinnati Reds. "He says he learned it all from his dad--how to hit, how to field, how to throw and how to box the trifecta at Santa Anita." (Olympia Daily World)

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Department of Finger Pointing: The Russians are blaming their cosmonauts for the crash that damaged the Mir. "They'll need a good lawyer," says Cortes. "Someone who can pin the blame on El Nin~o."

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Reader Barbara Connelly took her grandchildren to a coffee shop for lunch, where they found a brochure offering to celebrate children's birthdays. Those who registered would "watch his or her mailbox for a surprise gift." Six-year-old Jasmine read this and looked perturbed.

"Gramma, I don't have time to watch my mailbox all day."

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