Readin', writin' and `Big Blue'
Since the beginning of the 2001-2002 school year, more than 75 employees at Goodyear have been volunteering their time to provide tutoring at Mason Elementary School in Akron.
Participants in a program called ``AkronReads,'' the employees give up their lunch period one day a week to tutor a student. Mason Elementary was chosen due to its proximity to the firm's corporate offices and because the school expressed a need for intervention, Goodyear said.
Tutor Dave Culbertson, a training systems specialist with Goodyear, said one of his biggest rewards ``is seeing first hand the excitement the students have and their dedication to the program. You just hope that you gave as much as you received.... We know we've made a difference.''
Another tutor noted that ``the best part of the program was seeing the children so excited about reading.''
To quote cowboy hero/philosopher Roy Rogers: ``There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation.'' And then the rest of them who have to, shall we say, venture real close to an electric fence to learn for themselves.
This 'n that
That's what they do-The vanity license plate on a cherry-red Pontiac Firebird we spotted in the Cleveland area seemed to be a testament to the car's and driver's philosophy: ``ACCEL R 8.''
Scopes trial revisited- ``My theory of evolution is that Darwin was adopted,'' observed comic Steven Wright.
Shark attack-With apologies to any readers of this particular persuasion, we kind of took a liking to this quote by ``unknown,'' who said: ``How sad that 99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.''
Pick your poison-Anyone with a kid in college will appreciate this daffynition of college: ``The place where you have three options-to sleep, to study, or to party-but only get to pick two per semester.''
Money to burn
A story on the Internet newsletter Intelligentx.com indicated the extent to which some people will go to become the first on their block with a new toy.
An auction that recently closed on Amazon.com resulted in ``three lucky consumers'' having the chance to be among the first to own a Segway Human Transporter (HT), the new electric-powered, self-balancing, two-wheeled devices by inventor Dean Kamen.
The catch: They had to pay a pretty penny for that honor. Three of the gizmos, which are shod with a special tire made by Michelin North America Inc., were fetching bids way beyond the HT's $3,000 price tag when it goes on sale to consumers in the fourth quarter of this year. The story said the winning bids were for $100,600, another for $104,100, and a third that topped more than $150,000.
Sheesh...you can buy a lot of tires (or anything, for that matter) for a hundred grand.
As the crow sits
As the story goes, a crow was sitting on a tree, doing nothing all day. A small rabbit saw the crow, and asked him, ``Can I also sit like you and do nothing all day long?''
``Sure, why not,'' the crow answered. So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the crow and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.
Believe it or not, there's supposedly a management lesson in this parable: To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up. But any owner who's spent a day in his or her dealership's trenches would likely argue strenuously over the veracity of that little tale.
You say `poe-tah-toe'
Don't you just hate it when consumers can't correctly pronounce the name of your business or your product?
Happens a lot in the auto industry, where there's a running debate about how to say the names of certain vehicles or companies. Take ``Jaguar,'' for instance. You can adopt the snootier-sounding Brit pronunciation of ``JAG-you-are,'' or the Americanized ``JAG-wahr.'' Or play it safe and just use ``Jag.''
Then there's the one syllable or two dilemma of what to call that ultra-sleek vehicle named ``Porsche''-``POR-shuh'' makes you sound like a car afficianado, ``Porsh'' isn't as cool but is a heckuva-lot better than ``Porch.'' If you're a purist, in German, the `e' on the end is always active.
Flustered yet? How about ``Hyundai,'' the Korean-made vehicles-a guaranteed tongue twister depending on whether you go with ``HUN-day'' (rhymes with ``Sunday'') or ``HUN-die.'' Or maybe for those of the Hee-Haw set it's ``HEE-un-day.'' A company spokesman told Automotive News that ``the most important thing is that consumers feel comfortable with the name and recognize it....'' In the same vein, we're faced with the predicament of Daewoo and whether to say ``die-WOO'' instead of ``day-WOO.''
At least with tire brands things are pretty straightforward: a ``Viper'' is a Viper and you can't get much more literal than the ``Ditch Digger'' made by Denman Tire Corp. But we're not even going to get pulled into a debate about pronouncing the ``HuaQing'' brand from American Omni Trading Co. or the China Industrial Manufacturing Group's ``Jinglun.''
Last time we checked, we had some change jinglun in our pocket.
Separated at birth?
While perusing a copy of our sister publication, Automotive News, we were struck by a striking resemblance.
As far as we know, the two gents aren't related. But take a gander at their photos. Tom Raben-who operates Raben Tire Co. in Evansville, Ind., and is the current president of the International Tire & Rubber Association-sure looks an awful lot like Jim O'Connor, Ford Motor Co. group vice president for North American marketing. sales and service.
Who knows...maybe when Mr. Raben's ITRA post ends once the group officially merges with the Tire Association of North America July 1, he and his long-lost ``brother'' can get together for a barbecue. Or maybe discuss the possibility of the auto maker using some retreads as original equipment on Fords.