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Underachievers, Shootouts

Good week for: Underachievers, Energy independence, Getting the shot; Bad week for: Shootouts, Playing cat and mouse, Secret weapons

Good week for:

Underachievers, after schools around the country began instituting a minimum grade of 50, rather than zero. Educators said the adjustment would “encourage student performance.”

Energy independence, after an Indiana man drilled an oil well in his backyard. Greg Losh spent $100,000 on the well, which nets him three barrels a day. “I didn’t know anything about oil until I got involved with this,” Losh said. “Now I’ve got the bug.”

Getting the shot, after a Utah newspaper photographer shooting a high school track championship was speared through the leg by a javelin. Ryan McGeeney immediately snapped a photo of his impaled leg.

Bad week for:

Shootouts, after a restaurant owner and a security guard got into an argument in a Boulder, Colo., parking lot and shot each other with Tasers, leaving them both agonized on the ground. “It was kind of a boneheaded deal,” said a police sergeant.

Playing cat and mouse, after a feline chasing a rodent through the main electrical power station in the Albanian capital of Tirana got tangled in the cables, creating a three-day blackout. The animals were electrocuted.

Secret weapons, after an anti-Kremlin speech by Russian chess champion and dissident Garry Kasparov was interrupted by a remote-control flying penis. Alarmed security guards chased the plastic phallus until one swatted it down. The stunt, said Kasparov, proved that the government’s tactics were “below the belt.”

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