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Teacher sickout shuts down Detroit schools

Detroit teachers march outside the district headquarters, Monday, May 2, 2016, in Detroit. Nearly all of Detroit's public schools were closed Monday and more than 45,000 students missed classes after about half the district's teachers called out sick to protest the possibility that some of them will not get paid over the summer if the struggling district runs out of cash. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)A massive teacher sickout shut down ninety-four Detroit public schools yesterday. The teachers have been told that unless the state Legislature approves more money for their district, there are not enough funds to pay the teachers their salaries past June 30.

The teachers' union clearly believes their action will motivate legislators to approve an education reform package being debated in the Michigan House of Representatives. The state's governor disagrees: "That's not a constructive act with respect to getting legislation through."

If you were a teacher in Detroit, what would you do?

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Weasel Shuts Down The World's Largest Machine

Credit: The Large Hadron Collider/ATLAS at CERN via FlickrThe Large Hadron Collider is the world's most powerful particle smasher and the largest machine on earth. Last Friday, a weasel wandered into a 66,000-volt transformer, causing a "severe electrical perturbation." The collider will be shut down for several days. The weasel did not survive.

The previous Sunday, a man shot and killed a fellow worshiper after fighting over a seat in the church sanctuary. Last Friday, two teenage girls were launched off a carnival ride at a Texas fair; one of them was killed, while the other suffered minor injuries. The next day, a woman in Boston was struck and killed by an amphibious sightseeing vehicle known as a duck boat.

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Is There A Spiritual Lesson In The NLF Draft?

A work crew hangs a Draft Town sign in preparation for the 2016 NFL Draft at Grant Park on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 in Chicago. (Ben Liebenberg via AP)The first round of the NFL Draft is over. Jared Goff was drafted first by the Rams, followed by Carson Wentz, drafted by the Eagles. (For more on the latter, see Nick Pitts's The Life and Faith of Carson Wentz.) Both teams gave up a great deal to be in position to choose them. Will they become Pro Bowl quarterbacks, or will they soon be forgotten?

NFL teams do their best to draft the best players for their teams, but no one knows if their best will be good enough. Of the eighty-one players chosen number one, only fourteen have made it to the Hall of Fame so far. No team has drafted number one and won the Super Bowl the same year. Only eight have even made the playoffs that year.

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Cruz Names Fiorina His VP

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, joined by former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, waves during a rally in Indianapolis, Wednesday, April 27, 2016, when Cruz announced he has chosen Fiorina to serve as his running mate. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)Ted Cruz announced yesterday that Carly Fiorina will be his running mate if he wins the Republican presidential nomination. Donald Trump made a major foreign policy speech as well, outlining his priorities if he is elected president this November.

I am not writing today to comment on either announcement. Rather, I want to focus on those who are. Both stories were covered by news outlets around the world. In the same way, American reporters are covering global stories this morning.

For instance, this morning's Wall Street Journal reports on the stalled peace talks in Syria, a suicide bombing in Turkey, and a migrant detention center in New Guinea. The front page of today's New York Times tells us about efforts to end a half-century of fighting in Colombia.

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Are You A Smartphone Smombie?

Social but not social Credit: Iko via Fotalia"Smombies" are people who stare at their smartphones while walking like zombies. They are a problem: according to a University of Washington study, one in three of us is busy dealing with a smartphone or other electronic device at risky road crossings.

Here's one solution: Officials in the city of Augsburg have installed traffic lights embedded in the pavement. The idea came after a fifteen-year-old girl was killed by a tram. Police say she was distracted by her smartphone as she crossed the tracks. The new lights are more obvious to those looking down at their devices while walking.

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