Etc...

Um, we need that back

Often, we hear how overpaid professional athletes are as compared to, say, school-teachers. But that doesn't take into account the unidentified teacher in Detroit who presumably was more than a little stunned to read the "amount" blocks on her (his?) check last month. Before taxes: $7.9 million. After: $4,015,624.80. The error, blamed on a computer glitch, occurred when the teacher's employee identification number was wrongly entered in the "hourly wage" field and wasn't caught by the district's payroll software. The check has been adjusted, and, not surprisingly, stricter new software is now in place.

OK, I guess I owe you

Speaking of Michigan teachers and money, Brenda Bell at Miller Elementary School in Saginaw challenged her fifth-grade reading class to find a legitimate English word without a vowel. The winner, if any, would take home a $50 prize. Well, she'll have to pay up, because Tyler Mayle – with his stepfather's help – came up with one from Oxford English Dictionary's online edition: "psst," meaning "expressing a hiss, often to attract attention."

The whole enchilada?

Cooks in Las Cruces, N.M., came up with the perfect recipe for heartburn. Combine 75 gallons of red chili, 50 pounds of onions, 175 pounds of cheese and 750 pounds of corn flour. In Las Cruces, they call it an enchilada. The three-layer enchilada, featuring 10 foot-wide tortillas, was fashioned Sunday as the culminating event of the annual Whole Enchilada Festival in Las Cruces. Each huge tortilla was flattened, carried to a 500-degree oil bin and then put on a plate and topped with chili.

Roberto Estrada, who has built the giant enchilada for the festival for 21 years, and his crew of nearly three dozen men took nearly four hours to complete the main dish as festival-goers watched from metal bleachers. Many in the crowd stood and cheered as the final layer was made.

How business travelers rate the facilities they depend on

Business travel down since Sept. 11, 2001? That may be, statistically. But it doesn't mean that businesspeople have stopped being discriminating in their tastes insofar as the quality of the airlines on which they travel, the hotels at which they stay, or the car-rental agencies they use are concerned. Take airports: Singapore's Changai was judged the world's best in an annual survey by Business Traveller magazine – for the 15th consecutive year. Business Traveller's "world's best" categories:

Best airport: Changai (Singapore)
Best airline: British Airways
Best no-frills airline: Go (Britain)
Best hotel chain: Sheraton
Best individual hotel: Shangri-La (Singapore)
Best airport hotel: Radisson Edwardian (Heathrow, London)
Best car-rental company: Hertz

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