Don't make any promises you don't plan to keep.

A sociology professor at Mars Hill College (search) in North Carolina found that out the hard way, reports the Citizen-Times of Asheville, N.C.

As part of a demonstration of American cultural values, the unnamed professor offered an 'A' to any student who would get up before the class and take off all his or her clothes.

Much to his dismay, one student, whose name and gender were not released, did just that.

"He did not expect it to happen," college president Dan Lunsford told the newspaper. "The professor realized that this had gone much beyond what he ever anticipated, and he was shocked and dismayed."

At many institutes of higher learning, the incident last Thursday evening would have caused hardly a ripple. But Mars Hill is a Baptist school.

"People were very upset about it, said senior Kat Marotta. "It's probably the juiciest thing that's ever come out of this campus."

The professor, who had taught at Mars Hill for over 25 years, apologized via e-mail to all the students in the class and then resigned. He will receive retirement benefits.

The student won't be punished — but neither will he or she be getting an A.

Just Pretend You're Out of Your Local Calling Area

Cell-phone thieves never learn: Don't answer the phone you've just run off with.

Nashville, Tenn., police responded to reports of a home-invasion robbery early Friday morning to discover that a thief had made off with a video-game machine and a cell phone, reports WTVF-TV of Nashville.

A quick-thinking cop simply dialed the cell phone's number. The suspect answered, and the officer said he'd like to buy back the video-game machine.

Thinking he was talking to the robbery victim, the suspect came right back to the house. He ran when he saw the cops, but didn't get far before being arrested.

— Thanks to Out There reader Jill M.

Hmmm, Slight Nutty Flavor

WINCHESTER, Ind. (AP) — A farmer who wants to build a 1,650-cow dairy farm about 20 miles east of Muncie drank a glass of water with a drop of manure in it to prove the waste material is safe.

During a public hearing Wednesday, Tony Goltstein, a Dutch immigrant, drank the mixture in front of a surprised crowd of about 200 people at the Randolph County Fairgrounds (search).

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (search), which has authority over water quality issues, conducted the hearing to listen to pros and cons of the Goltsteins' application.

Dairy-farm opponent Barbara Peeg squeezed some manure out of a dropper into a jar full of water. She then put the lid on the jar and shook it.

She was trying to demonstrate that water could be contaminated even if people can't see it. Peeg then delivered the jar to an IDEM official and sat down.

Goltstein came out of the audience, removed the lid from the jar and took a big drink, producing laughs from the crowd.

A group called Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Randolph County (search) and other opponents of the dairy have repeatedly taken their concerns to local government officials.

Nice to Read Your Own Obituary

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Gen. Peter Schoomaker knew when he entered the pressure-cooker job of Army chief of staff that the hours would be a killer. He never imagined the Pentagon bureaucracy would take that literally.

So it came as a surprise when an official Pentagon notice of his demise arrived at his home in Tampa, Fla.

"It actually said I'd died," he said.

In telling the story to a group of officers recently at Fort Polk, La., Schoomaker recalled his wife's bemused reaction.

"She said, 'What's this?'"

Explanation: He came out of retirement to be Army chief, so when the Pentagon's accounting staff saw that his name dropped from the retired officers payroll they figured it was for the usual reason: death.

One More Thing to Sanitize

SINGAPORE (AP) — Spic-and-span Singapore has set its sights on one of the final frontiers of filth in its neat borders — bus station toilets, a newspaper reported last week.

Authorities will step up inspections at offensive toilets and track how patrons use them to help bus companies clean up their act, Environment Minister Lim Swee Say was quoted as saying by The Straits Times.

Singapore uses heavy fines to enforce cleanliness as part of efforts to attract corporations and tourists. It stepped up measures during last year's SARS epidemic, intensifying them further with the current bird flu outbreak that is battering the region but has yet to hit Singapore.

Lim's ministry recently released its annual survey of 798 toilets across the island.

The survey, taken in October, found Singapore toilets were becoming cleaner with 86 percent scoring above eight on a 10-point scale, the ministry said in a statement. Only 34 percent scored above eight when survey was first conducted in 1996.

The government also will extend a 4 million Singapore dollars (US$2.4 million) program to upgrade food center toilets for another year, the ministry said in a separate statement.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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