Suit over spilled soup
An attorney for an eight-year-old girl in Beloit, Wisc., has filed a lawsuit against the school district over hot soup that allegedly injured the pupil, says The Janesville Gazette. The hot soup was placed on the girl's lunch tray, says the suit. She began to carry her tray to another table but somebody bumped her, causing the soup to spill onto her left forearm and injure her. The suit alleges the school district and its employees were "negligent in serving a substance at an unsafe temperature to an eight-year-old child, were negligent in failing to properly instruct its students on how to carry the unsafe substance, failing to properly warn its students of the unsafe substance and the dangers thereof …" The girl is alleged to have suffered "personal and bodily injuries, pain, humiliation, embarrassment, worry, permanent disability, health-care expenses and other economic losses."
Storm names hit cold front
"If you pay any attention to hurricanes, you are probably well familiar with the likes of Alberto, Beryl, Chris and Isaac," says The Philadelphia Inquirer. "Now, are you ready for Athena, Brutus, Caesar and Iago? Those are the names that the Weather Channel plans to hang on winter storms this season. [America's] biggest commercial weather player announced [last week] that it would start naming winter storms with the winter of 2012-13, similar to how the National Hurricane Center has designated hurricanes. … The idea was greeted somewhat icily elsewhere in the weather community." As the U.S. National Weather Service pointed out: "A winter storm's impact can vary from one location to another, and storms can weaken and redevelop, making it difficult to define where one ends and another begins."
12-year-old weather forecaster
"A junior high-school student has become Japan's youngest [certified] weather forecaster after passing a national exam," The Asahi Shimbun reports. "Just one month shy of his 13th birthday, Tomoki Kai, who lives in Nagoya's Kita ward, passed the test on his fourth try, the Japan Meteorological Business Support Center said Oct. 5. The previous record was a candidate aged 13 years and seven months. Kai said he became interested in weather forecasting after participating in a workshop at a science museum in which he and his peers created clouds."
School food just too good
"A talented head cook at a school in central Sweden has been told to stop baking fresh bread and to cut back on her wide-ranging veggie buffets because it was unfair that students at other schools didn't have access to the unusually tasty offerings," reports TheLocal.se. The Falun municipality has ordered Annica Eriksson, a school lunch lady, to bring it down a notch since other schools do not "receive the same calibre of food – and that is unfair. Moreover, the food on offer at the school doesn't comply with the directives of a local healthy diet scheme initiated in 2011."
The lust for bling
"Research has shown that conspicuous consumption is more common among racial minorities, as a way to compensate for lower status," writes Kevin Lewis of The Boston Globe. "New research shows that you don't even have to be a minority to experience this effect – you just have to put yourself in those shoes. Not only did blacks with stronger racial identification feel more positively about high-status products, but so did whites who wrote a story imagining themselves to be black. In addition, whites who wrote a story imagining themselves to be janitors were more positive about high-status products than whites who imagined themselves to be brain surgeons."
Thought du jour