News In Brief

WANNA HEAR MY CAR ALARM?

OK, you're traveling in Australia and suddenly a cellphone tweets in your ear. You aren't expecting a call but reach for yours anyway, and ... it's silent. Don't be so sure the sound even came from a phone. If not, what then? Maybe from one of the continent's six species of so-called "mimic" birds. "It's the males that are largely doing it," said professional ornithologist Greg Czechura. The feathered critters - also pretty good at imitating the click and whir of cameras - incorporate the sound into their mating calls.

HONEY, PLEASE COME HOME

On the subject of bird sounds, guests at a tourist hotel near Edinburgh, Scotland, are going without sleep because a male peacock's mate has left him. Percy, one of the attractions on the grounds of the Dalhousie Courte, spends his nights complaining because Henrietta is gone. The staff knows where she is - up a nearby tree. That's because someone drove her off and stole the eggs she was nursing, and so far she hasn't been willing to return.

Athletes most likely to pop up in consumer product ads

For the third straight year, Tiger Woods ranks as the athlete most appealing to companies as an endorser for their products, an annual survey by marketer Burns Sports & Celebrities Inc. found. But three women have made the list for the first time: tennis pro Anna Kournikova, soccer player Mia Hamm, and track star Marion Jones. The survey of more than 1,500 advertising and corporate marketing executives is based on demand, not celebrities' earnings from product endorsements. The top 10, according to Burns Sports & Celebrities:

1. Tiger Woods

2. Michael Jordan

3. Lance Armstrong

4. Anna Kournikova

5. Mia Hamm

6. Marion Jones

7. Andre Agassi

8. Muhammad Ali

9. Kobe Bryant

10. Wayne Gretzky

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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