The skinny

By Times Wires
Published March 2, 2007

School daze

Teacher said 'Cut it out,' and she meant it

A substitute teacher in Milan, Italy, had exactly the wrong reaction to a student who was talking in class. She took a pair of scissors and cut his tongue, a gash requiring six stitches to close. "It's an absolutely unjustifiable act that calls for zero tolerance," said Anna Maria Dominici, the school superintendent. Good to know. The teacher has been suspended pending an investigation. Meanwhile the boy's mother is making the rounds on TV talking about the boy's trauma, and the pending litigation. "He's not eating, he's not sleeping, he doesn't want to go school. He cries a lot because of the pain," said Piero Porciani, the family's attorney.

If you have to go, then you're gone

There were no scissors incidents at Germany's University of Freiburg, but boy, you better not need to go to the rest room during an exam. A 27-year-old student there was told that if he left the room, he would fail his exam. As an alternative, another student gave him a water bottle, and he was allowed to relieve himself in front of the class of 120 students. Oh, and he had a bladder dysfunction caused by an accident. The university later apologized, saying the exam supervisors were unjustified and "lacking in any normal human sensitivity."

Business is booming

Explosions keep folks from town

Something is causing underground explosions in Waterbury, Conn., above, and merchants are afraid it may be bad for business. "This has happened too many times recently," said a downtown revitalization group volunteer actually named Ken Killer. "People who come downtown may soon start saying 'Look, there's a manhole. Am I going to get clobbered?' " A reasonable question after seven explosions in the span of 18 months, the latest of which killed an electrical worker. The city is working on updating the downtown power grid, which is the source of the problem.


With heat on KFC, rats move to U.N.

It turns out that it's not just the KFC-Taco Bell that is rat-infested in New York. The halls of the United Nations seem to be crawling with vermin, as well. (It is taking superhuman restraint to not make obvious jokes about the delegates to the U.N.) There have been reports of rats, mice, worms and even river eels making their way through the building. A person who works there told the New York Post, anonymously, that the rats often beat the delegates to the daily buffet. But they rarely eat everything. The building is scheduled for a $1-billion, five-year renovation. Until then, there is always a KFC or Taco Bell around the corner.

Compiled from Times wires and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster.