No. 234: "I Can't Kuwait"

No. 234: "I Can't Kuwait"

No. 234: "I Can't Kuwait"

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
May 1 1999 3:30 AM

No. 234: "I Can't Kuwait"

You give the (brief) lead; I give the headline from the Kuwait Times: "Tips To Reduce 'Burden' of Students."

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by 5 p.m. ET Sunday to e-mail your answer to newsquiz@slate.com.

Wednesday's Question (No. 233)--"Courtly":

"I couldn't do my current job without them," said Justice Antonin Scalia yesterday as he waved something in the air. What?

"Four of the world's tiniest Harvard-educated law clerks."--Winter Miller (Cliff Schoenberg had a similar answer.)

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"These two videotapes: Birth of a Nation and Mandingo."--Jon Hotchkiss

"Federalist Society lickspittles."--Jack Hitt (similarly, Norm Oder)

"The various remote controls for Clarence Thomas."--Noah Meyerson (similarly, Michael Wilde, Jennifer Miller, and Ken Novak)

"Penal implants (cc: New York magazine competition No. 1108, 'Misspellings we'd like to see')."--Bill Scheft

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Randy's Wrap-Up

Given: News Quiz participants respond with particular enthusiasm to questions about the Supreme Court. Given: The law is a particularly unhappy profession. That is, a remarkably high percentage of lawyers are discontent with their jobs. Therefore: Most News Quiz participants are lawyers who take out their frustrations on a poor Supreme Court justice just because he is a coldhearted, reactionary bastard with dubious views about race and little understanding of American life. I have no legal training, but isn't there some kind of logical error in this paragraph? Because, aside from the dubious propositions, the unsupported assumptions, and the illogical conclusion, I can't figure out where I went wrong--just like Justice Scalia.

Courtly Love Answer

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Justice Scalia waved his glasses.

The court was hearing the first of three cases that seek to define disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, in particular, whether the act applies to a person who can restore normal functioning by, for example, taking medication or wearing glasses. And it's as neat a Catch-22 as you're ever going to see, even through those disposable contact lenses. In one case, American Airlines declined to hire two workers based on their uncorrected vision--i.e., glasses off--but argued that the women couldn't sue because with their vision corrected--i.e., glasses on--they are not disabled.

If the court goes with the broadest possible definition, most Americans would be considered disabled, ill-mannered, and unattractively dressed, and would rarely be asked out by people from more stylish countries. If the court goes with the broadest definition actually under consideration, most Americans could indeed be considered disabled, but their attractiveness wouldn't be relevant. I blame the system.

Greg Diamond's Life in These United States Extra

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This is apropos of nothing, but I've noticed an Internet ad for Bell South using the slogan "The Real White Pages." Is it a good idea nowadays for any Southern institution to go around proclaiming itself as "real white"?

Kate Wing's American Wonderland Extra

Driving through Ted Turner's bison ranch out near Big Sky (there's an easement through the property so you can get to a state park on the other side), I saw one of my favorite warning signs ever. It reads, approximately:

Warning! Bison have sharp horns!
They can run faster than you!
They are not tame! Do not attempt
to pet the bison!

Common Denominators

Scalia as regressive; balls as metaphor; Clarence Thomas as ventriloquist's dummy.