Archive for September 14th, 2009

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Patrick Swayze: Real Men Do Dance

September 14, 2009

When Dirty Dancing came out, my girlfriend dragged me to the theatre at least 10 times. When it hit VHS, she bought it — in the days when movies cost a fortune to buy — and we watched it every day. Every day. I can recite that movie to you verbatim.

By the 50th time or so, I had decided two things: I hated that movie, but Patrick Swayze was a pretty cool guy. He had looks, charm, talent and wicked dancing skills. In everything he did, from good films to cheese, he was a class act.

You had a good run, Patrick. Thanks for entertaining us.

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Night Arrows

September 14, 2009

This is a rough transcription of a conversation I had with a guy in a robe at an SCA event here this weekend:

  • Him: “What does your T-shirt say?”
  • Me (pulling camera bag strap away so he can read it): “Prepare the Night Arrows.”
  • Him: “What does that mean?”
  • Me: “In the movie Timeline …”
  • Him: “Oh, from Timeline, okay.”
  • Me: “I guess you’ve seen it.”
  • Him: “What’s Simply Syndicated dot com?”
  • Me: “It’s a podcast network. Night Arrows is kind of an in-joke.”
  • Him: “I’m not even sure what it means.”
  • Me: “Okay, remember the battle scene with all the flaming arrows? And suddenly the English decide to use night arrows? Which are just regular arrows, but the French can’t see them in the dark? It’s used as an example of movie stupidity.”
  • Him: “I don’t remember that part.”
  • Me: “Were there ever such a thing as night arrows?”
  • Him: “I don’t think so.”
  • Me: “It’s one of the problems with that movie.”
  • Him: “Timeline had way bigger problems than that, forsooth, verily, etc.”

I might have exaggerated that last bit somewhat.

Learn more about Night Arrows here, and visit Simply Syndicated here.

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Today’s Moron: Alexandra Kralik

September 14, 2009

Sorry, make that Alexandra Kralik, the Broward School District and the Broward Teachers’ Union. Kralik, a kindergarten teacher, scores high on my angerometer because she has a habit of using physical force on the five-year-olds in her classroom. Her employer and her union score high because they keep letting it happen.

Check out this news article about Kralik, and this one, too. Read them closely: she has been caught six times, at different schools, but she keeps returning to the classroom. Why? Because unlike real life, a history of violence doesn’t matter. In this Florida school district, getting caught slamming a child’s head into a counter means you can come back to teaching once you read a letter they send you.

Here’s Steve Rossi, her union’s lawyer, in one of those articles: “Each case is looked at independently, and this case is looked at independently. Anything concerning any prior incidents doesn’t apply; everything has to be looked at independently.”

What? A teacher’s long history of hurting students doesn’t matter? How does that work? Oh, here’s how it works: she keeps getting teaching jobs, and kids keep being her victims. While honest parents are being railroaded by overzealous child-protection authorities, people in positions of trust keep getting away with it, because the system lets them.

Kralik was escorted out of her classroom a few days ago after yet another allegation of abuse, and is now working for the school board in a non-classroom position. Based on the policies of her employer and the rigorous defence mounted by her union, it looks like she might have to take a year off before she’s back in the classroom. And maybe also pay a $100 fine.

This is stupid and ridiculous. And where are the police? Children are assaulted and the perpetrator receives a written reprimand from her employer? Children come first, people. That’s clearly not the attitude at the Broward School District.

If I were a parent with kids in that system, my kids would not be at that school today. Or ever again. And if I had a kid in Kralik’s class, I’d be on the phone to the cops.

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