Monday, August 28, 2006

Stupid Americans

This is both amazing and not suprising:

Three quarters of Americans can correctly identify two of Snow White's seven dwarfs while only a quarter can name two Supreme Court Justices, according to a poll on pop culture released on Monday.

According to the poll by Zogby International, commissioned by the makers of a new online game on pop culture called "Gold Rush," 57 percent of Americans could identify J.K. Rowling's fictional boy wizard as Harry Potter, while only 50 percent could name the British prime minister, Tony Blair.

The pollsters spoke to 1,213 people across the United States. The results had a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.

Just over 60 percent of respondents were able to name Bart as Homer's son on the television show "The Simpsons," while only 20.5 percent were able to name one of the ancient Greek poet Homer's epic poems, "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey."

Asked what planet Superman was from, 60 percent named the fictional planet Krypton, while only 37 percent knew that Mercury is the planet closest to the sun.

Respondents were far more familiar with the Three Stooges -- Larry, Curly and Moe -- than the three branches of the U.S. government -- judicial, executive and legislative. Seventy-four percent identified the former, 42 percent the latter.

Twice as many people (23 percent) were able to identify the most recent winner of the television talent show "American Idol," Taylor Hicks, as were able to name the Supreme Court Justice confirmed in January 2006, Samuel Alito (11 percent).

A couple of thoughts here. First, I read this and ask myself, "do I know these things?" I think that the simple fact that more press time and water-cooler talk was given to Taylor Hicks than Samuel Alito makes that one not at all surprising. Second, I would probably take some exception to this if I was a Supreme Court justice, being compared to the Seven Dwarfs. Third, I think it would be a good idea to re-name the three branches of government to Larry, Moe, and Curly. I think it fits. Finally, I wonder if they had asked about Pluto instead of Mercury people would have done better. It is, after all, named after a Disney character. This supports my idea that all the planets should be named after Disney Characters! I mean, come on, Roman gods??!!

Another interesting article:

A woman stole $2.3 million (1.2 million pounds) from her employers and spent the money on lottery tickets, buying as much as $6,000 worth of tickets a day in a bid to hit the jackpot, prosecutors said on Thursday.

Annie Donnelly, 38, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to stealing the money over 3 1/2 years from her employer, Great South Bay Surgical Associates, where she was a bookkeeper.

She was spending about $6,000 on lottery tickets a day, a spokeswoman for the Suffolk County District Attorney's office said. It was not clear how much, if any, she won.

"I don't think I'll ever see anyone spend that much money again," said a shop assistant named Shawn, who works at the MK Cards Gifts and Cellphones store in Ronkonkoma, New York, where Donnelly bought her tickets. Contacted by telephone, he declined to give his last name.

Donnelly, who lives in Farmingville, New York, a New York City suburb on Long Island, faces at least four years in prison and could serve as many as 12 years after pleading guilty to grand larceny, the district attorney's spokeswoman said.

Donnelly did not post bail and remains in custody. Sentencing is on September 20.

Donnelly was caught after several business checks bounced, raising the suspicions of her employers.

The New York Lottery gives about 56 percent of its revenues in prizes, and a third of its revenues, or $2.2 billion in fiscal 2005 to 2006, to education in the state. The rest goes to commissions, fees, and other expenses.

Now, I want to know why someone would steal over $1 Million and buy lottery tickets? What, was she hoping to become a millionaire?? Who would put a person so dumb in a position where they could embezzle that kind of money?

Amazing, truly amazing.