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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Smeato, the hero
By JIM VERHULST
Published July 15, 2007
Smeato, the hero
Glasgow Airport baggage handler John Smeaton, 31, has become a folk hero for his exploits after terrorists rammed a flaming Jeep Cherokee into the terminal doors. He ran over and kicked the assailant. In a Glaswegian accent that is at times impenetrable - Australia's Channel 7 subtitled its interview with him - Smeaton had this message for terrorists: "You come to Glasgow, we don't stand for it," he says. "We'll just set aboot ye." (Translation: "In Glasgow, we'll just deck you.") By the next evening, an admirer had created a Web site devoted to Smeaton - nicknaming him Smeato. More than 1-million page views later, he's puzzled as to why people are so taken with his story. "I haven't a Scooby," he says, meaning he doesn't have a clue.
Big, big house
The 1920s-era Beverly Hills mansion of William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies was put on the market last week for $165-million, making it the nation's most expensive residential listing. The pink stucco estate, dubbed Beverly House by the late newspaper magnate, is spread across 6.5 acres north of Sunset Boulevard. It has everything a billionaire could want - three swimming pools, 29 bedrooms, a state-of-the-art movie theater and even a disco. In the last two years, six U.S. residences have come on the market with nine-digit price tags. None has yet sold.
One child each
Slate reports that nearly 2,000 officials have been caught violating China's one-child policy from 2000 to 2005. The list includes 21 lawmakers, 24 political advisers, 6 "senior intellectuals," and more than 100 entrepreneurs. Some of the newly exposed violators were "found to have kept mistresses," leading to extra children.
Words to melt wax
Bruce Young, a collector, placed a newly acquired 100-year-old wax cylinder record on his Edison Standard Model D player and heard a young man saying filthy words. It was suggestively titled The Virtues of Raw Oysters. Young was flabbergasted that "that kind of language - what you think of as very naughty late-20th-century schoolyard talk - would exist in the 1800s." It is now one of 43 profane monologues, skits and other spoken-word curios on Actionable Offenses: Indecent Phonograph Recordings from the 1890s, the newest release from Archeophone, a small label devoted to early sound recordings. The zeal with which phonograph pioneers took to indecent material is a reminder that, from the Victrola to the Internet, smut peddlers have always been among the earliest and savviest adapters of new technologies. The cylinders had been discovered packed away in a box with a handwritten tag attached: "Not for mixed company."