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we're stuck, aren't we?

It was going to be a long night for a man and his two sons at a ski area near Salzburg in the Austrian Alps unless he could figure out how to get help. They were on the last chair lift of the day at Sportwelt Amade when it stopped without warning far from the summit. After a wait of 20 minutes, it became obvious the device wasn't going to start again. The choice: try yelling for attention or jump into what looked like deep snow 18 feet below. Dad took a deep breath - and jumped. He landed unhurt, returned to the base of the mountain, and the kids were rescued. For their ordeal, next winter's skiing will be free ... if they're willing to give the place another try.

SO BE A NEAT FREAK

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Speaking of high altitudes, if you're planning to climb Mt. Everest or any of its neighbors, from now on it will cost you an extra $4,000. The fee, imposed by the Nepal government, is a sort of security deposit - refundable only if you bring back all your own trash.

q NBC's 'ER' wins week, but CBS set for sweeps victory

For the first time in three years, CBS was poised to win TV's vital February "sweeps" period, when ratings are watched closely to set local advertising rates. According to Nielsen Media Research, the network was averaging 13.9 million viewers per show in prime time during the month, followed by NBC and ABC in a tie with 12.6 million and Fox with 10.6 million. The top 10 programs Feb. 19-25, and the rating for each:

1. "ER," NBC 18.3

2. "43rd Annual Grammy Awards," CBS 16.7

(tie) "Survivor II," CBS 16.7

4. "Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows," ABC 13.8

5. "Friends," NBC 13.7

6. "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS 13.1

7. "60 Minutes," CBS 12.8

8. "Law and Order," NBC 12.6

9. "Will and Grace," NBC 12.1

10. "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" (Wednesday), ABC 12.0

- Associated Press, Reuters

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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