Belgium's telecoms companies have a reputation for customer care that is only slightly better than the Gestapo's. Because of divisions among the linguistic areas, monopolies and a disinterest in oversight, the phone and internet companies are notorious for outstandingly poor customer service. Everyone has a tale to tell. In my case, I had a deal with one company and when my neighbour got connected with a rival firm, instead of putting in a new cable, they literally cut through mine and attached him. They then refused to reconnect me, on the grounds that I was not a customer of theirs. After five weeks of getting nowhere, I had to pay another company to install a new cable. Recently a Flemish TV show fought back for all of us. SLYT. A fine and elaborate prank that needs to be watched to the end. Yes it is a SLYT but for anyone who has ever had to deal with Belgian telecoms or internet companies, this is entirely justified payback.
With a population of 36,664 and 2.5 square miles in size Bell, California is number thirteen in the twenty-five smallest cities in the United States. Median annual household income is about $36,000; per capita income for the city is $9,905 with 24.1% of the population below the poverty line. Residents of this tiny city "have a higher property tax rate than homeowners in Beverly Hills." A recent L.A. Times investigative report has revealed that exorbitant salaries are being paid to city officials. Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo collects an annual salary of $787,637 with 12% increases scheduled every July. Assistant City Manager, Angela Spaccia collects $376,288 with a similar 12% annual pay increase. Police Chief Randy Adams who runs a 46-person department earns $457,000, which is 33% higher than that of his Los Angeles counterpart. And ... part-time city council members collect almost $100,000 a year each.* The District Attorney is investigating why the part-time council members take-home $8,083 per month while a $400 monthly stipend was expected. [more inside]
60 school kids from the 70s singing Bowie's Space Oddity. An incredible recording. A 60 student chorus of western Canadian rural school children belting out, among other things, Good Vibrations, Desperado, and, the cream of the crop, I think, Klaatu's Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft. mp3 samples on the page. It is amazing. Read David Bowie's quip. (And the quip from the American Orff-Schulwerk Association is classic.)