TCS Daily

Friday Fodder: Cool School, Revenge of the Nerds, and Happy Holidays!

By Nick Schulz - December 21, 2001 12:00 AM

The Fodder will feature some more lighthearted features than usual this week given the egg nog is flowing, the carolers are singing, and after a dastardly fall that tested and tried this great country, it's time to pause and spread a little cheer for the holiday season.

Joke's On You - The "world's greatest joke" was determined in a global, online competition this week. The Fodder isn't quite so sure. Most people in the world either have no sense of humor, or this thing was rigged. My favorite, told to me by my lawyer friend Kevin Boyle, starts: "A wealthy businessman wants to meet the Pope..."

Anyway, let me know if you think I'm wrong and if the joke chosen by the "world" is really the best one. I'd love to hear some alternatives (see email address below).

Cool School - One area TechCentralStation will be focusing on in the coming year is distance learning and online education. Anyone who wants to understand the potential and power of online education should take a look at what the folks at K12 are doing. Full disclosure: Several years ago I used to work for the current Chairman of K12, former Education Secretary William Bennett. But trust me on this. If you're skeptical, check out the audio clips they have from great speeches in history and tell me this isn't an effective and smartly packaged learning tool. This one from Ronald Reagan still brings tears to my eyes.

Turning Chicken S*!% Into Chicken Salad -- All the enviros who keep telling us we need to reduce our fossil fuel consumption should take a look at this alternative. Shudder. If nothing else, the person responsible for that headline deserves a promotion.

Winning Isn't Everything... -- The terrific Rowan Scarborough of the Washington Times has a fascinating and important piece on how the successful prosecution of the war on al Qaeda by the United States is prompting other countries to muster the guts to go after al Qaeda, too. Everybody loves, trusts, and will follow a winner. The last two months should put an end to the hand wringing by those who fear an aggressive U.S. foreign policy. If this is "blowback," to use Chalmers Johnson's phrase, then lets have lots and lots more of it.

Fodder must also commend the Washington Times for having the extraordinary intelligence to hire my fiancée to be an editor on their national desk. I may be biased, but this hire will make an already indispensable paper that much better

Revenge of the Nerds -- The United States military is now recruiting techies from college campuses for Special Forces positions as it pursues its new "Hi-Tech War." Now maybe colleges and other institutions such as law firms will begin to get over their unjustifiable discrimination against ROTC, a embarrassing trend that my former colleagues over at have done an extraordinary job exposing in recent weeks.

Happy Holidays! -- We at TechCentral want to wish all our loyal and spirited readers a happy holiday season. Keep checking back here through the last few weeks of the year as we'll continue to have lots of new and stimulating content. And remember to send me Fodder items at

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