News In Brief

WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?

Can you be sure that everyone you know is telling the truth? Would you settle for being, say, 82 percent certain? Then you may be interested in "Handy Truster," a new product designed to measure the stress in voices and thus determine whether the person to whom one is speaking is - er - twisting things. The gizmo, which can be hooked to a cellphone, shows bites disappearing from an apple as falsehoods tumble from the lips. Said an official of the South Korean company that makes it: "I hope the day will come, thanks to this device, when people think twice before lying."

IT'LL BE HERE SOON ENOUGH

L'Anti Noel avant l'temps: It's French for a group that doesn't sound especially menacing. But it has merchants in Montreal angry and upset. Why? Because "Anti-Christmas Before Its Time" has appointed itself to warn them against putting up Yule decorations before Dec. 1 and is defacing those already in place with eggs, paint, and grease. Police have yet to catch the culprits.

You're not alone if you pay bills during working hours

Seventy-five percent of employees who work outside the home take care of personal responsibilities while they are on the job at least once a month, a new Xylo Corp. study has found. Xylo is a provider of online information about "work-life issues" and conducts monthly surveys on relevant topics. This month's poll found 36 percent of employees take time for personal tasks each workday, averaging 6.75 hours per week. The percentage of 1,000 respondents who said they do the following at work:

1. Banking/bill-paying 34%

2. Child care 16%

3. Grocery shopping 12% (tie) Medical research 12%

4. Making appointments 7% (tie) Personal shopping 7%

5. Phone calls 6%

6. Gift-buying 5%

7. Personal travel planning 3% (tie) Personal entertainment planning 3%

8. Elder care 1%

- Business Wire

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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