News In Brief

What's his party affiliation?

Back in 1999, the Cleveland County Board of Elections in North Carolina received a voter registration application for Parker Carroll. Not too long after, the name was added to the ranks of eligible voters. So what? Parker Carroll is a dog. And apparently, he's also been a write-in candidate for mayor - twice. His true identity came to light when a mailing for him was returned, and an official did some investigating. His owner, it turns out, is the son of a former election precinct official. A hearing to challenge the registration is set for Sept. 6.

you're too nice

By most accounts, Elsie Holdren was well liked on the job as a courthouse security guard in Viera, Fla. But as far as her supervisor was concerned, that was a problem - enough so to transfer her. The reassignment order apparently argued that her overfamiliarity with colleagues could compromise her ability to do her job. But a petition asking that Ms. Holdren's transfer be reconsidered has amassed 155 signatures.

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto: futuristic ideas for R2-D2

From HAL to C-3PO, robots in American science-fiction movies tend to perform extraordinary acts. Most people, however, just want to know how soon they'll be able to do more practical tasks. Fourteen percent of the US adult population say their jobs may eventually be performed by robots, but many adults are skeptical about how adept future R2-D2s will be at accomplishing household chores. For its August issue, Red Herring magazine teamed up with market research firm Angus Reid Group to ask adults what they expected robots will be able to do within the next 10 years. The percentage of respondents who said the following are realistic robot jobs:

Vacuum clean: 68%

Mow the lawn: 63%

Play games: 63%

Sweep floors: 61%

Cook food: 37%

Simulate a pet: 34%

Drive a car: 34%

Shop: 32%

- PR Newswire

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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