Brainstorms 4/27/2017

Ferrin Cox

Wednesday, Apr 26,2017

A common sight in newsrooms, be it the newspaper or the TV station, is a coffee pot and a coffee cup (or two) beside most reporter’s computers. The Los Angeles Times newsroom staff has set up a computer program that notifies everyone in the newsroom when a new pot of coffee is ready. It also keeps up with how old the pot of coffee is so people can estimate if there is a full cup left in the pot (and if it is maybe too raunchy to drink). Now they need to add a buzzer that lets everyone know who got the last cup and failed his or her coworkers by not starting a fresh pot!

While we are “drinking”, it was surprising to recently read the results of a poll taken about bottled water. According to this report, that was supposed to be creditable, there is more bottled water sold in the U. S. each year than all the soft drinks combined! It was a surprising bit of information but we are more impressed that someone, or some group, was able to put such a sales pitch on the American people. The water is usually bought because consumers are convinced that it is healthier. There are stories of companies turning on the tap in the kitchen and selling the bottles of water as some exotic, healthy and tasty substitute for your tap water. Those folks who just turn on the faucet and the others who actually tap some spring of water bubbling out of the ground are often selling their product at a cost higher than the price of the colored, flavored and sweetened soft drink sitting right next to it in the drink cooler. Again, great sales team!

Last Friday the Alabama Department of Education released a list of all public high schools and their graduation rate for the past year. The problem with that is the numbers are different from those that have been released by the individual schools. Therein lies a big problem. School superintendents are upset and embarrassed. First they didn’t know about these new numbers until after they were released. Secondly they are upset claiming the state office “changed the rules in the middle of the game”. It seems that some students who have been classified as graduates were not included on the Friday list. We saw a list of comments Monday afternoon from superintendents who had nothing but unkind words for the process.