Police: iPhone Left In Hot Car For Three Hours
OCTOBER 3, 2008 | ISSUE 44•40
WINNETKA, IL—This normally peaceful suburban town is still reeling following the news Monday that a
local resident, whose name is being withheld by police pending a full investigation, left an iPhone
unattended for more than three hours in a car parked in the hot sun.
"Responding to calls from concerned passersby, who observed the iPhone sitting in a vehicle in the parking
lot of the Westfield Shopping Center, police arrived on the scene at approximately 4 p.m. and immediately
intervened to save the device," said Winnetka police chief Douglas Blaine. "Security cameras have shown
that the iPhone had been in the car—with the doors locked and the windows rolled up—since 1 p.m. Due to
the tragic and highly emotional nature of this case, we cannot say any more at this time."
According to official police records, two officers forcibly broke into the car at 4:07 p.m. and found the
iPhone lying face down on the dashboard. The iPhone at first showed no signs of life, but after a tense few
seconds, officers were able to wake it and get it to respond to a series of simple touch commands. Police
said that if the iPhone were left in the extreme heat for any longer, it could have died.
The iPhone was rushed by ambulance to a nearby Apple facility for careful examination. Miraculously, no
damage to its memory, screen, or wireless capabilities was reported.
Upper-middle-class suburbanites from all over the North Shore area have reacted to the near-tragedy with
an unprecedented outpouring of concern. Hundreds of cards and letters have come streaming in, and local
talk radio shows have been flooded with calls demanding that the iPhone's owner be prosecuted. Many have
come forward offering to take the iPhone into their custody, and still more have donated free downloads,
ringtones, and MP3s to the victimized object.
Although the device was unharmed, Winnetka residents expressed shock and dismay that something like
this could occur in their normally materially conscious community.
"What kind of a human being is capable of such callous disregard for a precious, precious thing?" said one
concerned Winnetka resident, tax lawyer Ben Klein. "Having an iPhone is a 24-hour-a-day responsibility."
"This iPhone was less than a year old," said Janelle Mankewiecz, another outraged citizen. "If someone is
blessed with an iPhone, especially one of the newer models like this one, they should never take their eyes
off it for even one second."
"On a hot day, the temperatures inside a parked car can reach 150 degrees in just 40 minutes," she added,
looking up the information on her own iPhone.
Witnesses said that when the iPhone's owner eventually arrived at her car and realized what she had done,
she began sobbing hysterically, calling out in vain for her iPhone, and rocking back and forth on the parking
lot pavement while repeatedly shouting "No" and "This can't be happening." The owner is currently being
held by authorities and will likely be charged with criminal neglect. If found guilty, she will be subject to
severe punitive action, including fines and possible jail time, and the iPhone will be placed under foster
The iPhone's owner issued a statement through her attorney.
"My client deeply regrets the incident, and wishes to express a sincere apology to the police, the
community, and the fine manufacturers at Apple," said lawyer Henry Durst, who was retained by the
suspect following her arrest. "My client is remorseful and clearly emotionally distraught. This is her first
Nonetheless, local government officials remain disturbed by what they are calling "inhuman" treatment of
"My husband and I have been trying for months, but so far, we've been unable to have an iPhone," town
assemblywoman Janet Nuetreer said. "But if we did, we would understand that there is nothing more
important. Every iPhone is a gift from God."
"Sadly, this sort of mistreatment of iPhones is more widespread than people think," said Dr. Jordan
Heimlich, director of Winnetka Community Services, who is currently supervising the iPhone's care.
"People leave their iPhones precariously perched on the edges of counters, they forget to charge them, they
even fail to provide them with basic necessities like a decorative carrying case. I've even heard cases of
iPhones being dropped."
"But I've never seen anything like this happen here in Winnetka before," he added. "It's sad to see how out
of line so many people's basic priorities are."
Authorities added that it was "just sheer luck" that the toddler who was also left in the car was unconscious
at the time, as otherwise he could have potentially damaged the iPhone.
June 20, 2007| Issue 43•25
Apple's New iPhone
Apple is set to release the much-hyped iPhone Friday, June 29. Here are some of its most highly anticipated
Nanotechnology enables it to reassemble itself when thrown against wall
Exclusive link to Google Street View so you can watch yourself using your iPhone at all times
When moved from hand to ear, makes Lightsaber sound effects
Prominent Apple logo
Reproduces through asexual budding
Has way, way more PRAM than the last thingy
Comes with an iPhone hat, so people know you own an iPhone during the brief periods you're not
Apple Hard At Work Making iPhone Obsolete
FEBRUARY 12, 2007 | ISSUE 43•07
CUPERTINO, CA—Only a month after the much-heralded announcement of the iPhone, Apple CEO Steve
Jobs confirmed that his engineers were already working around-the-clock on the touchscreen smartphone's
far-superior replacement. "We looked at [the iPhone's] innovative user interface, the paradigm-shifting
voicemail, the best-in-class mobile browser, and we realized we could make all that seem ridiculously
outdated by the time the product becomes available to customers in June," said Jobs, who described the
project as "Apple reinventing the iPhone." "When the second-generation iPhone comes out this fall, we
want iPhone users to feel not just jealous, but downright foolish for owning such laughably primitive
technology." Jobs also hinted that the second iPhone device would not be compatible with existing Mac
computers, third-party peripherals, or any future Apple products.
Underfunded Schools Forced To Cut Past Tense From Language Programs
NOVEMBER 30, 2007 | ISSUE 43•48
WASHINGTON—Faced with ongoing budget crises, underfunded schools nationwide are increasingly left
with no option but to cut the past tense—a grammatical construction traditionally used to relate all actions,
and states that have transpired at an earlier point in time—from their standard English and language arts
A part of American school curricula for more than 200 years, the past tense was deemed by school
administrators to be too expensive to keep in primary and secondary education.
"This was by no means an easy decision, but teaching our students how to conjugate verbs in a way that
would allow them to describe events that have already occurred is a luxury that we can no longer afford,"
Phoenix-area high-school principal Sam Pennock said. "With our current budget, the past tense must
unfortunately become a thing of the past."
In the most dramatic display of the new trend yet, the Tennessee Department of Education decided Monday
to remove "-ed" endings from all of the state's English classrooms, saving struggling schools an estimated
$3 million each year. Officials say they plan to slowly phase out the tense by first eliminating the past
perfect; once students have adjusted to the change, the past progressive, the past continuous, the past perfect
progressive, and the simple past will be cut. Hundreds of school districts across the country are expected to
"This is the end of an era," said Alicia Reynolds, a school district director in Tuscaloosa, AL. "For some,
reading and writing about things not immediately taking place was almost as much a part of school as
history class and social studies."
"That is, until we were forced to drop history class and social studies a couple of months ago," Reynolds
Nevertheless, a number of educators are coming out against the cuts, claiming that the embattled verb tense,
while outmoded, still plays an important role in the development of today's youth.
"Much like art and music, the past tense provides students with a unique and consistent outlet for self-
expression," South Boston English teacher David Floen said. "Without it I fear many of our students will
lack a number of important creative skills. Like being able to describe anything that happened earlier in the
Despite concerns that cutting the past-tense will prevent graduates from communicating effectively in the
workplace, the home, the grocery store, church, and various other public spaces, a number of lawmakers,
such as Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, have welcomed the cuts as proof that the American school system is taking a
more forward-thinking approach to education.
"Our tax dollars should be spent preparing our children for the future, not for what has already happened,"
Hatch said at a recent press conference. "It's about time we stopped wasting everyone's time with who 'did'
what or 'went' where. The past tense is, by definition, outdated."
Said Hatch, "I can't even remember the last time I had to use it."
Past-tense instruction is only the latest school program to face the chopping block. School districts in
California have been forced to cut addition and subtraction from their math departments, while nearly all
high schools have reduced foreign language courses to only the most basic phrases, including "May I please
use the bathroom?" and "No, I do not want to go to the beach with Maria and Juan." Some legislators are
even calling for an end to teaching grammar itself, saying that in many inner-city school districts, where
funding is most lacking, students rarely use grammar at all.
Regardless of the recent upheaval, students throughout the country are learning to accept, and even embrace,
the change to their curriculum.
"At first I think the decision to drop the past tense from class is ridiculous, and I feel very upset by it," said
David Keller, a seventh-grade student at Hampstead School in Fort Meyers, FL. "But now, it's almost like it
Pipe Cleaners, Googly Eyes Cut From Elementary School Arts Budget
AUGUST 13, 2007 | ISSUE 43•33
PARAMUS, NJ—With students set to arrive in about three weeks, teachers at Washington Street
Elementary School were scrambling Monday to deal with a new round of budget cuts that slashed funding
for the pipe cleaners and googly eyes they say are the cornerstone of a humanities-based education.
"We are closing the door on our children's creativity," said Melinda Jarvis, a first-grade teacher who has
used bendy and twisty materials in her art lessons for more than 15 years. "Without pipe cleaners, these kids
will be totally unable to transform everyday objects into things with skinny arms and legs. We'll just have a
bunch of egg cartons sitting around. How is that going to teach them anything about the rich artistic
traditions that have shaped our civilization for millennia?"
Jarvis, who plans to lead an Indian-style sit-in on the first day of school to protest the cuts, is only one of
thousands of educators across the country to face dramatic drops in their arts budgets over the past several
years. In Boca Raton, FL, there were reports of up to 16 kindergartners sharing the same pine cone. More
than half of Iowa's elementary school students gave their mothers crumpled-up Kleenex wrappers taped to
tongue depressors as Valentine's Day "roses" last year. And a school in Oxnard, CA was reduced to having
students draw crude eyeballs on scraps of construction paper handed down from third-grade classes.
Bergen County superintendent of schools Jim Eckford said his office was forced to make some very difficult
decisions, and that Washington Street Elementary School students and teachers alike would simply have to
adjust to the new reality this fall.
"I would love nothing more than to see every student be able to make as many Santa Clauses with big,
bushy beards as their hearts desire," Eckford said. "But these are tough times, and the fact of the matter is,
cotton balls don't grow on trees."
In light of the budget tightening, Eckford suggested teachers develop creative outlets for their children that
involve pebbles or paper-towel rolls, or somehow combine art class with lunch period.
Local parents have joined the chorus of opponents, pointing to the need to stay competitive with better-
funded private schools in which students have unlimited access to pipe cleaners and have been known to
glue googly eyes to other googly eyes.
"Cutting pipe cleaners and googly eyes is simply going to lead to the elimination of more items from school
budgets, like Popsicle sticks and yarn," said Geraldine Mailer, president of the Washington Street
Elementary School PTA and a mother of four. "To write out one's name, or the name of one's mommy, by
pasting dried macaroni to colored paper is to illuminate the human soul. We're going to wind up raising a
generation of mindless conformists."
Mailer said that the deprivation could lead to future problems, including low self-esteem, juvenile
delinquency, and a chronic inability to create homemade cards and scrapbooks.
"If we're going to deny our children access to diverse forms of mixed media, we may as well just shove a
piece of paper in front of them, stick a pencil in their hands, and tell them to have at it," Mailer said. "But is
that what we want for our kids? Is that what we want for art?"