Monday 11/01/10

Human Interest News   —   Posted on November 1, 2010

By The Editors of

Postal problem
Don’t expect a lot of laughs from members of the American Postal Workers Union as they explain why recent union elections had to be delayed for a week. Officials with the union say that many of the ballots for the election, which are mailed back to Washington, D.C., for counting, have been lost in the mail.

British buzz
Buzz Lightyear isn’t just an animated action hero. Pollsters in the United Kingdom found a solid 20 percent of British schoolchildren identified the Toy Story movie character as the first human to set foot on the moon. The plurality vote for Buzz Lightyear outpolled the correct answer, American astronaut Neil Armstrong. But while the 6- to 12-year-old British children polled wouldn’t seem to make good Trivial Pursuit players, they did excel at questions about topics found in the UK’s tabloids. Two-thirds correctly answered questions about soccer star David Beckham and singer Cheryl Cole.

Gang symbol?
Forbes magazine apparently isn’t read much around the Miami Police Department. Rapper-turned-businessman Jay-Z was recently on the cover of Forbes, but Miami police think he looks more like a gang member than a music industry mogul. The police department had run a banner on its website asking citizens to report gang activity. The banner depicted five characters to demonstrate what a gang member might look like. Problem: Two of the five images on the banner appear to be photoshopped renderings of Jay-Z publicity photos. When asked by a blogger to comment on the choice, the police department refused comment but quietly removed the Jay-Z depictions from its banner.

Death defiance
Unless dead people can spend or invest, it’s hard to see how at least $18 million of the multi-billion-­dollar stimulus package will do much economic stimulating. That’s because when the government started cutting $250 checks to recipients of Social Security as part of the stimulus bill, it mailed about 72,000 checks to people who had recently died. The Treasury Department also accidentally sent $250 checks to more than 17,000 prison inmates. Government investigators say next of kin returned about half of the checks issued to dead people.