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Friday


I've fallen for urban myths before, so I'm not vouching for the authenticity of this yarn a mate sent me, claiming it is true. If it is, it just goes to show that you need a mighty strong case to beat an insurance company.

"A Charlotte, N.C. lawyer purchased a box of very rare and expensive cigars, then insured them against fire, among other things. Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of these great cigars and without having made even his first premium payment on the policy, the lawyer filed a claim against the insurance company.


"In his claim, the lawyer stated the cigars were lost 'in a series of small fires.' The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason: The man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion. He smoked them, one at a time.


"The lawyer sued, and won! In delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous. The Judge stated, nevertheless, that the lawyer held a valid policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure them against fire, without defining what is considered to be 'unacceptable fire,' and was obligated to pay the claim.


"Rather than endure a lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000 to the lawyer for his loss of the rare cigars lost in the 'fires.'


"Now for the best part.


"After the lawyer cashed the check, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of arson! With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the lawyer was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000 fine!


"There is justice in the world, after all!"


Thursday


Just what your avid footy fan needs for comfort now that "God'' Gary Ablett snr has retired and "King'' Carey has been shamed into the bush league. CatholicShopper.com offers "inspirational sports statues":
Handpainted resin statues on a solid wood base are the perfect gift for every young Catholic athlete. These statues portray Jesus actively participating with boys and girls in a variety of sports. A wonderful way to reinforce Jesus "as friend" in everyday activities.
One of the statues depicts Jesus playing football, taking a pass from a little boy as another boy tries to tackle the Son of God. Jesus is portrayed in 12 activities all up, including baseball, golf, skiing and, fergawdzakes, ballet.


Wednesday


Get an authenticated date on your degree if you don't want it to become as valueless in the academic market place as an Ansett oxygen mask. Universities in the UK and US are embarking on the final stage of their great dumbing down crusade by regulating against the cleverest students getting into tertiary studies. The Spectator reports on the latest government scheme to make Oxbridge discriminate against independent-school candidates. Rachel Johnson writes that middle-class parents across the land — usually labelled the ‘privileged elite’ — who are foregoing holidays and working all hours to put their academic, diligent and grateful children through private education may find it too painful to read on. Oxbridge is operating a quota system aimed at reducing the number of independent school graduates entering top universities. It’s been told to by the Blair government.
And in the US Stanley Kurtz in National Review Online reveals the colleges are attempting to move away from Student Aptitude Tests (SATs) on the grounds that they are discriminatory. "Yo, man, I got da walk, I got da talk, I don't need no grades.'' Stand by for a raft of suitable courses for education's new elite: A Master's in skateboarding; a doctorate in PlayStation; a PhD on Britney Speirs' wardrobe . . . any suggestions?
bernslat@iprimus.com.au<"


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