No More Red Ink

And now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine:

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Parents Outraged
Parents of more than 100 Danish scouts are outraged over a game of tag. Adults pretending to be Nazis chased children pretending to be Jews around a phony concentration camp. The children, ages 11 to 14, were wearing yellow Stars of David. And swastikas and Nazi slogans were posted around the schoolyard. A mother of two of the scouts says she was shocked. The scout group now admits it "may have crossed the line."

Does a Geyser Good!
The National Park Service is fuming over a TV commercial featuring Old Faithful. The ad shows a park ranger pouring Metamucil into the geyser in Yellowstone National Park to help it stay regular. Though Old Faithful isn't precisely regular, with eruptions coming anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours apart, Park Service officials are outraged at the suggestion that Old Faithful would need some help. And the Park Service is afraid the ad might make it look safe to get close to geysers and hot springs, when in fact, every year, people in the park are badly burned when they ignore warnings to keep their distance. Rangers also fear people might be encouraged to dump things into the geysers and pools, which causes pollution and destroys their beauty. Metamucil's maker, Procter and Gamble, says most people would understand the ad is a joke. But the company offered to put a disclaimer on the ad instructing Yellowstone visitors to obey park rules.

Reversing the Red Rule
No more red ink. We're not talking about an end to deficit spending, but to an education tradition. Teachers at a primary school in the West Midlands in England have been forbidden to mark mistakes in their students' work with red ink. The head of what is called "school improvement" says red ink "has negative connotations and can be seen as a negative approach to improving pupils' work." Instead, teachers are to use green ink. Not everyone agrees with the decision. One local official points out that "Children are not gullible. They will soon realize that green means the same as red used to."

Back to Politics?
And finally, talk show host Jerry Springer says he's considering a run for the U.S. Senate next year. Springer, a Democrat, a former mayor of Cincinnati and a millionaire, says he has the resources. Springer's TV show features guests who reveal intimate and sometimes lurid secrets. About a potential race, he says, "The plus is that I'm known by everybody. The minus is that I'm known by everybody."