Enough left for one pop quiz

My school year has ended, and I still have one more multiple-choice test in me. I don?t have students, but I do apparently have at least some readers. So, here?s the quiz.

1. The financial troubles some European countries are having should worry us because: (a) our stock market seems to be directly affected by what Greeks urn?or?earn; (b) their stocks tumbled when we had economic issues last year, so turnabout is fair play; (c) the price of the Euro has dropped, meaning Americans will vacation overseas instead of in Florida.

2. Some pickup truck owners still put Confederate flag tags on the fronts of their vehicles because: (a) they are meant to honor the sacrifices of Southerners who died in the Civil War; (b) they believe the South is going to rise again; (c) they miss the simpler times the Duke boys represented; (d) all of the above.

3. The Discovery Channel: (a) is the most man-friendly network since ESPN, with shows such as ?Deadliest Catch,? ?Swamp Loggers,? ?Mythbusters,? ?Man vs. Wild? and ?Worst Case Scenario;? (b) attempts to offset the influence of Oprah; (c) has only three commercials that it runs over and over all day and evening.

4. The oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico: (a) is the most crude coming out of the ground since Jed Clampett?s wayward shot launched ?The Beverly Hillbillies;? (b) clearly demonstrates that humans do have the capacity to significantly and adversely affect their environment; (c) will definitely lead to more oversight of deep water oil drilling; (d) gives new meaning to the term ?shrimp cocktail.?

5. The wind turbine at Hartman Arena north of Wichita almost never spins because: (a) it produces too much electricity; (b) a man who made his fortune in oil owns the complex; (c) the windmill automatically shuts down if the breeze is more than 55 mph; (d) the political wind in Kansas most often blows from the right, not the left.

6. In the battle for U.S. Senate between Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt: (a) more mud is being slung than at the demolition derby last Memorial Day weekend; (b) each wants Kansans to believe he is more conservative than the other; (c) both would like to be invited to the tea party; (d) all of the above.

7. The new Kansas no-texting-while-driving law: (a) will be difficult to enforce; (b) will clearly stop all teenagers from this unsafe practice, just as a seat-belt law has stopped teens from driving unbuckled; (c) does not apply to motorcycle riders (or is it ?drivers??); (d) will only work if actually enforced with regularity.

8. While running in town recently, I encountered the following wildlife: (a) a small herd of deer; (b) a badger; (c) a skunk; (d) a possum; (e) a coyote family.

*?*?*

Answers:

1. (a) Is there anything our stock market is not linked to these days?

2. (d) Some claim the symbol of a nation that seceded from the Union in the mid-1800s just shows pride in the South. It doesn?t mean they condone slavery, they say. By the same token, the Swastika of Nazi Germany was a good luck symbol for Native Americans before Hitler decided to use it. I think a car tag with that icon on it would certainly be offensive to most people.

3. (a) and (b) There is enough testosterone flowing from those shows to counteract even ?American Idol.? Actually, (c) seems to be true as well.

4. (b) The tree huggers were right after all. The good news is, we can?t really kill the planet; we can just make it inhabitable for humans. As for oversight of drilling operations, don?t hold your breath. On second thought, if you live along the Gulf, it might be a good idea. Some of the fumes from that stuff are toxic.

5. Actually, all are true to some extent. The turbine does shut down at 55, and it is a complicated task sending extra electricity back to the power company. And, yes, Wink did make his money in oil and gas, and his political ads claim he is conservative.

6. (d) I am chagrined by the downhill slide this race has taken. I?ve never met Tiahrt, but, as for Moran, where has the western Kansas congressman gone who insisted on meeting my junior high campers at Rock Springs Ranch a decade ago?

7. (a) and (d) I assume the ban applies to motorcycle operation, and, unless strictly enforced, I doubt it will affect what teens do in their cars. I see Hillsboro teenagers cruising around all the time without seat belts fastened and obviously using cell phones, even though both actions have been illegal for some time. According to the new anti-texting law, officers will need to observe a driver using an electronic device to send or receive a text message in order to pull over the vehicle. In addition, exceptions are made for receiving and sending emergency messages and severe weather warnings. Which is better, receiving a text weather alert so a driver can take cover, or keeping the driver?s eyes on the road and observing the actual weather conditions? There are also exceptions for emergency workers and delivery trucks when the device is permanently mounted in the vehicles.

8. (a) It?s a bit of a trick question. I have encountered all three at various times. I see the badger every time I run south of town, but, technically, that?s not in Hillsboro proper. I have seen a skunk, but that was just outside the city limits. I have also come across some coyote pups, a possum and a cow. Again, those were all outside town. But, I actually spotted the three deer on a recent run. They appeared to be young bucks without antlers, or they could have been does, and they were not all that scared of me. The encounter took place at Grand and Cedar at about 6:15 a.m. I don?t know how often they visit the area. Maybe they were scouting out a good location to hide during hunting season.

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