Bright Ideas 

The preferred "disciplinary" tactic of Tampa, Fla., high school assistant principal Olayinka Alege, 28, is to have underperforming students remove a shoe so he can "pop" their toes. Five students at King High School complained, triggering a sheriff's office investigation, but Alege was cleared, and indeed, the students admit that the popping is painless (though "weird," said some). One apparently incorrigible student said his toes had been popped 20 times. However, the principal recently ordered Alege to stop.

Chicago banker George Michael, seeking to avoid $80,000 a year in property taxes, decided to call his $3 million mansion a "church" and apply for tax exemption as pastor, and in July 2008, his application was somehow preliminarily approved by the Illinois Department of Revenue. According to a Chicago Tribune report, the application included a photograph of the "church," which was just a shot of an outer wall of Michael's house with a large cross on it, except that the cross was later discovered to have been merely placed on the photograph in marker pen. In July 2009, a state administrative law judge finally reversed the earlier approval.

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