Brickbats

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Brickbats

Seems that some Internet-filtering programs blocked Web sites that mentioned Superbowl XXXIV. It was the "XXX" that tipped them off.

As chief of New Jersey's Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, John Holl was known as a strict enforcer: For six years, Reuters reports, Holl "cracked down on illegal liquor industry kickbacks, organized a summit on responsible college drinking and beefed up police patrols near liquor outlets to stop underage drinking." Maybe he beefed up one patrol too many: Last fall, a cop pulled over Holl for drunk driving.

The logo for Minnesota's Thomas Lake Elementary School long featured a mean-looking tiger. Then officials started worrying that the cat sent a message of "violence," and the school found a new emblem: school supplies. From now on, the yearbook and school apparel will feature a picture of pens, pencils, and a ruler. No word yet on what the school mascot will have to wear to football games.

In East Harlem, two cops busted James De La Vega for painting graffiti on the side of a dumpster, for possession of graffiti tools, and for criminal mischief. There was only one problem: De La Vega is a celebrated artist, not a tagger, and a local grocer had hired him to do the painting.

In medieval times, labyrinths were used to promote prayer and contemplation. Now, with the blessing of local clergy, officials have added a labyrinth to the San Jose county jail. Religious leaders say it can teach inmates to develop a spiritual life, helping them escape drug addiction and crime. At least one prisoner begs to differ: "I think they should tear the whole thing out and put in a swimming pool," she said, "so we can cool off in the summer."

Everyone's used to nonsmoking sections in restaurants. If state Rep. Robert Bugielski gets his way, Illinois will soon require noncellular sections as well. Under his bill, if a patron asks to be seated away from any cellular phones, and a restaurant refuses, the business could face a $3,000 fine.

Late last year, employees at Florida's SeaWorld found Daniel Dukes' naked corpse draped over a killer whale. Dukes had apparently slipped past security, stripped down to his underwear, and jumped, fell, or gotten pulled into the water. Park officials suspect he drowned trying to swim with the whale. Now his family is suing SeaWorld, saying the park failed to warn people that the animal could kill people who entered the water. Apparently, naming it a "killer whale" wasn't enough.

–Charles Oliver

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