News In Brief

NO, NO - YOUR OTHER LEFT!

What a concept! The Australian government is considering a plan that would subject members of Parliament - of both genders - to weeks of military basic training so they'll better understand defense-related issues when the time comes to vote on them. Alongside regular recruits, the legislators would wear combat gear, march, bivouac, and maybe even drop down for a few pushups at the whim of a drill sergeant. The idea arose because few officeholders anymore have served in the armed forces. Can you picture your congressman reporting to, say, Fort Polk, La., for similar duty?

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HERE YOU GO, YOUR HIGHNESS

In Thailand, King Bhumibol Adulyadej is seeking a patent for a formula he developed and tested himself that's designed to ease pollution and lower imports. It's a blend of palm oil and diesel fuel that can be burned in vehicle engines without filters. If you worked in the patent office, would you try to tell His Majesty his application was being rejected?

***

Ask a silly question ... and a new survey finds tourists do

"How long is a one-day pass good for?" "Does the sun set every night?" Those are two of the most inane questions asked by tourists, according to a new survey by the Travel Industry Association of America, which polled workers from all segments of the field. There were more than 400 submissions. Some of the most humorous, from the survey released in time for National Tourism Week, May 6-12:

"What time does the 9 o'clock ferry leave?"

"How come all the war battles were fought in national parks?"

"When do the caribou turn into moose?"

"If it rains, will the fireworks be held inside?"

"Is that the same moon we see in Vermont?"

"When do they turn off the waterfalls?"

"How many miles of undiscovered cave are there?"

"Why is the CLOSED FOR CLEANING sign on the restroom?"

- PR Newswire

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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