News In Brief

this is out of my league

It's no secret that pricey real estate and California pretty much go hand in hand. Take San Carlos, at the northern end of Silicon Valley, where the median home price is a whopping $780,000. Obviously, not everybody can afford that, but you wouldn't expect one of them to be the city's mayor. But, in fact, Dave Buckmaster is quitting his post and moving to Sacramento. So he probably doesn't agree wholeheartedly with San Carlos's motto: "the city of good living."

It's 1,904; I'm sure of it

It isn't only comedians who are having a field day with the difficulty Americans seem to have in counting correctly - most recently in last week's presidential vote. In Berlin, for fun, the host of Germany's most popular TV game show picked three US exchange students from his audience and asked them to determine the number of seats in the auditorium. The answers - due an hour later - ranged from 1,860 to 2,077.

Coming up: another rise in the price of a postage stamp

When the Postal Service hikes the price of a first-class stamp to 34 cents, probably in early January, it will be the second one-penny increase in two years and the 18th change in first-class rates since a charge was instituted 115 years ago. Here is how first-class stamps have fluctuated in price through history:

July 1, 1885 2 cents

Nov. 3, 1917 3 cents

July 1, 1919 2 cents

July 6, 1932 3 cents

Aug. 1, 1958 4 cents

Jan. 7, 1963 5 cents

Jan. 7, 1968 6 cents

May 16, 1971 8 cents

March 2, 1974 10 cents

Dec. 31, 1975 13 cents

May 29, 1978 15 cents

March 22, 1981 18 cents

Nov. 1, 1981 20 cents

Feb. 17, 1985 22 cents

April 3, 1988 25 cents

Feb. 3, 1991 29 cents

Jan. 1, 1995 32 cents

Jan. 10, 1999 33 cents

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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