Oddly Enough

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The Independent Online
School for scoundrels: Two college students allegedly robbed two local businesses at gunpoint in hopes of stealing enough so they wouldn't have to work while attending school.

Anthony Louis Cristofani, a philosophy major, and Emma Rose Freeman, a writer, were arrested and could be expelled from the University of California, Santa Cruz. They are charged with robbing a hair salon and a Costco warehouse store there. An elementary school teaching aide, Craig Dickson, allegedly drove the getaway car.

Freeman's mother, Linda, said: "I'm devastated. This is a girl who was a national merit scholar. Her only offence was to brake for a squirrel. Then there was a total change after she went to college."

"She said that she wanted to concentrate on her art and didn't have time to work," said Sgt Steve Clark, of the Santa Cruz police.

Caught on air: A Paris high school has suspended a pupil after he secretly taped a classroom tirade by his English teacher and had it broadcast that evening on a popular rock music radio station. Fellow teachers at the school, in the exclusive seventh arondissement of the French capital, went out on strike to protest against this "breach of confidence" in the classroom. The pupil, who was about 13 years old, did not name his school or teacher on the radio, but other pupils recognised the teacher's voice and told him about the broadcast.

Things smaller in America: Zvi Szafran, Mono Mohan Singh and Ronald Pike have developed what they call microscale chemistry. The idea is to shrink the size of the beakers and flasks that students use so experiments can be done using the least amount of chemicals. Students at Bowdoin College in Maine first sparked the idea in the Eighties with their complaints about smelly chemistry labs, but the school calculated it would cost almost pounds 200,000 to improve the air circulation. The problem was solved by thinking small.

The men say their idea makes labs safer for students. ''If you're using teeny amounts of a chemical, how big an explosion would you get?'' asks Szafran.