Imminent Border Incident (11/1/02)
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Attention middle-school students of Maine: keep your state-provided iBooks in sight at all times. Handcuff those babies to the limb of your choice. Sleep with one eye open and one hand on your trusty Louisville Slugger, if need be. But whatever you do, don't let your guard down for even a second, because the moment you do, you can count on your spiffy new iBook being spirited away by a sneaky Canuck before you can belt out four bars of "O Canada!"

That's not to say we've got anything against the great nation to the north, of course; indeed, we have little choice but to worship any country that gave us both The Kids in the Hall and the various Degrassi series. And heck, we're not ones to foment tension between any two countries, even if one of them has a really weird idea of what constitutes "bacon." That said, faithful viewer Jens Kueter pointed out an Associated Press article that could be cause for heightened awareness; Bernard Lord, the premier of the Canadian province of New Brunswick, has a fierce case of the Screamin' Covets as far as Maine's nifty iBook initiative is concerned.

You recall, of course, that not too long ago Maine signed the biggest education computer purchase in history, intended to provide Apple laptops to every single seventh- and eighth-grade student and teacher in the whole blessed state. Despite some rough patches as opponents to the plan tried to raid Governor King's funds, the initiative eventually got underway-- and some 200 Maine schools have now taken delivery of the 'Books and have integrated them into the daily learning process. And it was one of those schools that Bernie Lord crossed the border to eyeball; during his visit to Maine he hammered out some other business with Governor King, but he set foot on U.S. soil "primarily" to check out King's laptop plan in action. Reportedly Lord was "impressed."

Of course, "impressed" might be an understatement of sorts. Lord is quoted as saying, "I saw it in their eyes, I saw it in their faces. (Students) were happy." Reportedly he's now "interested in pursuing a similar program in his province." Well, that's all fine and dandy, folks, but surely we're not the only ones who imagine the wild look in his eyes, the drool on his chin, and the roughly 12.1-inch-diagonal bulge under his shirt as he slinked off before the school could notice anything missing. And does anyone think he's really going to buy systems for New Brunswick's schools, when soon there'll be some 33,000 iBooks just across the border and ripe for the taking, international incident be damned?

Wait... we are the only ones who imagined that? Oh. Hmmm. Well, then it sounds like someone at Apple better get on the horn with ol' Bernie and strike a deal while the iron's hot. But we still say the price of having a cutting-edge laptop-based educational system is eternal vigilance. Well, eternal vigilance and $25 million. Whatever.


 
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The above scene was taken from the 11/1/02 episode:

November 1, 2002: All the rumormongers fall in line and predict new SuperDriveless PowerBooks and iBooks coming this Tuesday. Meanwhile, the premier of a Canadian province seems just a little bit too impressed with Maine's student laptop program, and "Redmond Justice" may be winding to a close, as the judge prepares to rule on the proposed settlement later today...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3813: A Consensus... Of Sorts (11/1/02)   It's official: the latest round of November 5th rumors has finally reached a state of Rumoric Convergence. You know how, early on in an Apple rumor's life cycle, there are typically seven or eight variations on the same general theme?...

  • 3815: Bracing For A Series Finale (11/1/02)   Can it really be true? Dare we admit even the remotest possibility that, in just a few short hours, the antitrust courtroom drama known as "Redmond Justice" might finally be skidding to a close? After what we're pretty sure has been 73 years on the air, the show just might broadcast its long-overdue series finale later today, and frankly, we're not at all sure how to cope with that startling fact...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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