Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Short Takes on Amazon's Snub, Homework Holidays and Thai Myth-Busting

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Short Takes on Amazon's Snub, Homework Holidays and Thai Myth-Busting

Article excerpt

St. Louis, officially delisted (thumbs down)

Well, darn. St. Louis didn't make the cut after Amazon whittled down the list of contender sites for the corporation's new, $5 billion secondary headquarters. The addition of an estimated 50,000 jobs would have been a game-changer for the regional economy but, alas, it wasn't meant to be.

Several of the 20 finalists are understandable, such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and Atlanta. But Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio, are Midwest head-scratchers. Amazon estimates the new headquarters could add $38 billion to the local economy and boost the personal income of non-Amazon employees around the new campus by $17 billion.

For those who want to look on the bright side, St. Louis has a new $1.75 billion National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency headquarters in the bag. And on Thursday, Apple announced it's looking for another city for a satellite campus. If St. Louis wants to make a pitch, Apple probably has an app for that.

Homeworked-up in Kirkwood (thumbs up)

We are of two minds regarding Kirkwood High School's decision to experiment with two "homework-free weekends" this semester. Yes, we can understand why counselors are seeing students stressed by the burdens of homework piled on top of after-school jobs and extracurricular activities. High school is not easy.

But it's not supposed to be. Homework is not just for practicing and applying what you've already learned. It's also about time-management, a critical skill in college and the workplace. You have to learn it sometime or fall behind.

The U.S. Labor Department's Time Use Survey tells us that the average teenager spends 2.3 hours each weekday watching TV, playing video and computer games, surfing the Internet, listening to or playing music, and using cell phones to call or text friends and others. So-called "screen time" goes up to 4.3 hours on weekend days.

Working some homework into the schedule might not be out of the question.

Trump and that brain test (thumbs down)

Thanks to President Donald Trump, who performed a valuable public service by insisting that White House physician Ronny Jackson administer the Montreal Cognitive Assessment test as part of his physical exam on Jan. 12.

Adm. Jackson reported this week that Trump had scored a perfect 30-for-30 on the test. Trump supporters interpreted that to mean he's in perfect mental health and of high intelligence. In fact, it means he has no signs of encroaching dementia issues.

The test doesn't assess other conditions, such as puerile narcissism. This is a valuable distinction for Americans to understand.

Insulting a national myth (thumbs down)

In Thailand, it's a crime to insult the nation's honor, and you can go to prison for it. Buddhist scholar Sulak Sivaraksa learned that the hard way when he challenged the widely embraced myth behind a supposedly historical event that occurred 400 years ago. …

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