The Frumious Bandersnatch

The Downtown Improvement Committee of the City of Tucson has suggested that the problem of homeless people overwhelming the city center be solved by buying all the homeless people new clothes and providing bathing facilities for them.

"The problem is we've got all these awful looking bums hanging around downtown scaring people off,"explained Jim Drinkle, head of the Downtown Improvement Committee. "We can't seem to succeed in running them out of town because of civil liberties issues, so we have to do something to improve the esthetics of our city's core."

By getting the homeless new clothes, and providing them with bathing facilities, it is argued, no one would know that the downtown area was overrun with transients.

"Part of the problem is their going to the bathroom in public, which is unavoidable since they have no access to restroom facilities because the building managers run them out," Drinkle explained. "If they look and smell like normal citizens, no one will know they are bums."

Homeless advocates scoffed at the plan to beautify the homeless. "Maybe if they spent some money on creating jobs and providing homes for us, there wouldn't be a problem," commented Shadow, one of the local transients.


The federal bioethics commission is recommending to the White House that Congress ban the cloning of humans.

This suggestion comes in the wake of rumors that the Celebrity Cloning Company is planning to sell clone embryos from famous people, such as Jay Leno and Oprah, for implantation in women who want special children. "Why take the risk that your child might be an idiot when we can guarantee the result," suggested Fred Gemini of CCC.

The Celebrity Cloning Company had planned to sell clones of popular rock muscians, television stars, movie stars, and scientists. "We weren't getting any interest in clones of politicians," admitted Gemini.

The clone ban may not stop the commercialization of human cloning, however. "Congress can only pass laws applicable to the United States," Gemini noted. "There's always going to be some country looking to improve its balance of trade and possibly replicate its leaders."


The American Copyright Anti-Piracy Coalition announced today it will campaign to have the "save as" function removed from any software with internet access.

"The technology of software and the internet is such," explained Sam Graspeng with the anti-pirating coalition, "that anything posted on a website can instantly be copied intact and then reused, often in violation of copyright laws."

"But I thought the word 'copyright' meant the right to copy," groused one frequent web user.

The move to eliminate the "save as" function was sparked by massive use of copyrighted graphics by websites. "We can write all the nasty letters in the world telling people to quit using protected intellectual property, but the sheer number of these pirates is impossible to control," noted Graspeng. "Anyone can just click 'save as' and bingo they've got your graphic which they can insert into their websites."

If the effort to eleminate the "save as" function succeeds, the anti-piracy coalition plans to seek a ban on digital cameras and scanners. "These are also powerful tools in the hands of pirates," noted Graspeng.

This conflict between intellectual property and the ability to copy has been going on since Guttenberg invented the printing press, and has previously included attempts to ban vcrs and copy machines.

Copyright 1997 by Hugh Holub. All Rights Reserved.BACK/A>