Vinyl rope, magnets, large nails. What's the connection?
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Wednesday's Question (No. 285)--"Sir, Counterintuitive, Sir!":
Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera has announced a plan that will put more guns in American high schools. What is this program called?
"Take Your Father to School Day."--Norm Oder
"Project Louie Caldera's Kid Gets an A in Math or Else!"--Erich Van Dussen
"Coca-Cola and the U.S. Army Present 'Shoot a Pepsi Drinker and Win a Guest Spot on Dawson's Creek' Contest."--Charlie Glassenberg
"Whatever, just so long as they're not singing 'Mony Mony.' "--Colleen Werthmann
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The admonition, "You become what you behold," has yielded to "You become what you belittle." We Americans mocked the militarism of German youth in the '30s, and now we're embracing Louis Caldera's ballistic schemes. In the '50s, we taunted the clunky cars of the U.S.S.R. for their farm-wagon squareness; now we drive cool SUVs. The joys of deriding portly Austrian burghers in the '60s haven't prevented us from becoming a nation of American fatties. Nor has the fun we all had sneering at England's squandering its North Sea oil windfall in the '70s and '80s kept the Republican Party from proposing to give away the budget surplus to their rich constituents. The frightening conclusion, if mockery precedes mimicry, is that any minute now we'll all be working for Tina Brown.
Lock and Load Answer
The program is the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.
To meet what it calls a growing demand from high schools, the Army will double its JROTC by the 2000-2001 academic year, adding it to 50 more high schools in 18 states, for a total of 1,420. After that, 50 more schools will be added annually for the next five years. There were 230,000 kids in the program last year. The Army will supply various pieces of equipment, including guns for the kids' marksmanship training.
Taught by retired Army guys, JROTC courses cover history, current events, technology, communications, physical fitness, and the ever popular shooting. Militaristic? You bet! But the good kind of militaristic. "By expanding the JROTC, the Army is broadening its investment in America's young people through a program that emphasizes the values that have made our country great," says Caldera. "Insert your own dark joke about those values," he did not add.
Once left to talented--or not--amateurs, naming new products is now frequently the task of outside specialists. But has professionalizing this chore resulted in richly evocative names? Can you tell what sort of products the following are (each advertised in Sunday's New York Times)?
4. DaVinci 2
5. Tango 3
6. Rav 4
7. Turbo Power 1500
8. Rebel 2000
9. Freedom Supreme
10. Cambridge Cherry
1. Nike soccer shoe
2. Compaq PalmPiloty thing
3. Nissan carish sort of thing
4. Another PalmPilotish thing
5. Adidas soccer ball
6. Toyota SUV
7. Hoover vacuum cleaner
8. Canon 35mm camera
9. Minolta camera
10. Fake Queen Anne bedroom set from Drexel Heritage furniture