News In Brief

CALL IT A REEL ACHIEVEMENT

If you had trouble staying awake during, say, "Doctor Zhivago," imagine how the final 14 Thais felt after vegging out in front of the big screen for 51 hours straight. The group was trying to earn a Guinness Book of World Records entry for nonstop film-watching. They started out 468 strong at Bangkok's Entertainment Global Village. When the old mark fell during the 19th flick, "As Good As It Gets," 64 remained awake. Still, they watched on, beating the record by six films. Their other reward: theater passes for a year.

AND THIS IS ME, WITH MY GUN

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A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but even $1,000 couldn't keep a Mexico City mugger from missing a Kodak moment with a man he set out to rob. It all began when a tough known to police as "Teeth" stopped a news photographer at gunpoint, demanding everything, including his camera. But first, Teeth wanted his picture taken. The lensman clicked away, then bolted. His newspaper, Reforma, ran the "mug shot" on page one.

Electricity changed life most in 1900s, engineers say

So many achievements in engineering had a profound impact on the quality of life in the 20th century that it's a tossup just how to rank them. For example, a panel of top engineers, convened by the National Academy of Engineering, put computers at No. 8, favoring earlier innovations like electricity and the automobile. Astronaut Neil Armstrong announced the rankings at a National Press Club luncheon in Washington Tuesday, as part of National Engineers Week 2000. The top 10:

1. Electrification

2. Automobile

3. Airplane

4. Safe and abundant water

5. Electronics (vacuum tubes, transistors)

6. Radio and television

7. Agricultural mechanization

8. Computers

9. Telephone

10. Air conditioning and refrigeration

- Business Wire

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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