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December 16th, 2017

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The Continuing Crisis

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Dec. 9, 2015

The Continuing Crisis

For an October report, Vice Media located the half-dozen most-dedicated collectors of those AOL giveaway CDs from the Internet's dial-up years ("50 Hours Free!"). Sparky Haufle wrote a definitive AOL-CD collector's guide; Lydia Sloan Cline has 4,000 unique disks; Bustam Halim at one point had 20,000 total, before weeding to 3,000. (The AOL connoisseurs file disks by color, by the hundreds of packaging styles, by number of free hours, and especially by the co-brands -- the rare pearls, like AOL's deals with Frisbee and Spider Man. Their collections, said both Halim and Brian Larkin, are simply "beautiful." [Vice.com, 10-7-2015]

In 20th-century Chicago, according to legend, one did not have to be among the living to vote on election day, and a 2013 policy of the city's community colleges has seemingly extended rights of the dead -- to receive unearned degrees. City Colleges of Chicago, aiming to increase graduation numbers, has awarded a slew of posthumous degrees to former students who died with at least three-fourths of the necessary credits to graduate. (The policy also now automatically awards degrees by "reverse transfer" of credits to students who went on to four-year colleges, where they added enough credits, hypothetically, to meet City Colleges' standards.) [Crain's Chicago Business, 10-17-2015]

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