No good deed goes unpunished
Remember star charts? Not the astrological kind that speaks of your destiny and gives you direction for your next move in life. But those poster boards that hung on the wall in kindergarten, or maybe on the refrigerator at home, also known as rewards charts or behavioral charts or I’ll-make-you-do-what-I-want-or-you-won’t-get-a-sticker charts. You remember, your teacher or parent would give you a star if you “completed homework” or “raised hand before speaking” or even “didn’t pick your nose” and “went potty in the toilet.” Now do you remember?
If not, the new program from Boulder Parks and Rec and Boulder Police Department should jog your memory. Last week, the City announced the “Boulder Stars” program to ticket children ages 3-18 for “offenses” of good behavior. Such “offenses” could be wearing bicycle helmets, obeying crosswalk rules or engaging in a community-positive activity. Cops will now be going around Boulder looking for this good behavior and handing out stars, redeemable for a free day pass at any City park or pool.
So now we’re in the day and age where not only does each kid get a trophy at the end of a soccer game, but they also get a gold star from the cops for, well, pretty much common sense; for behavior that doesn’t need to be rewarded, only expected. Pretty soon our entire society won’t be able to bend over and tie their shoe without someone patting them on the back.
No word yet on when they’ll institute a program that rewards gold stars to the police offers who properly allocate their gold stars.
Lukewarm coffee for everyone!
In this newsroom we all just let out a “whoop!” and a “hooray!” with a fist pump into the air and a click of the heels. The World Health Organization (WHO) just ruled there is “no conclusive evidence” that coffee causes cancer. What a sigh of relief for these here journalists who more or less survive on the hubristic, efficacious, delectable, compulsory, euphoric (we could go on) drink, un-contrary to popular belief, believe it or not. In fact, coffee may even help us by reducing the risk of certain cancers. What a sigh of relief. We’ve been doing all right.
In the report, WHO did say, however, that “very hot” drinks are likely carcinogenic, which is maybe where some of the coffee confusion came in. Apparently any drink over 149 degrees Fahrenheit is a “probable cause” of esophageal cancer, but it doesn’t actually matter what the drink is. Be it water, tea, coffee or even chocolate, any drink that hot could cause tumors in your esophagus. So, while we’re over here jumping for joy that our 5 cups of coffee a day aren’t doing any harm, we are also remembering to blow a little bit before sipping. Sucks for those of those who like scalding cups of liquid. (Hey WHO, maybe hot drinks don’t cause tumors, just burn marks on the esophagus?)
Now all we need is for WHO to reverse its thoughts on smoking tobacco so we can get back to the mostly accurate stereotype of writers who thrive and survive on a diet of coffee and cigarettes. Wait, what?