Best ideas department

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If you paid any attention to the annual New York Times Magazine's "Year in Ideas" list, you might have noticed, after the dog poop DNA bank (for the purpose of tracking down dog owners who aren't scooping) and spray-on condoms, D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee's plan for a two-tiered teachers' contract. (See here for a description.)

If your brain isn't tickled by Rhee's approach to teacher governance and compensation, you can move on to a vending machine for crows, which trains crows to find and deposit coins, or an upside-down demolition system (it's neater and less noisy that way).