etc...

OK, BUT NOW THE FUN'S OVER

If you were one of those who entered "Jedi" under "religious preference" on Britain's 2001 census form, the Office of National Statistics has a message for you: Nice try. But "all that will happen is that it will be recorded as 'other,' " a spokes-man said. An e-mail campaign sought to persuade 10,000 people to declare themselves disciples of the mystical "Star Wars" knights famous for the mantra "May The Force be with you." It worked even better than the organizers had hoped. But, said the bureau spokes-man: "We will not be using taxpayers' money to publish how many people wrote 'Jedi' in."

WE'VE ADMIRED YOUR WORK

Speaking of Britain and knighthood, Queen Elizabeth II has bestowed that honorary status on a notable American in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He joined such earlier recipients as former President Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Bob Hope. Three guesses who he is, and the first two don't count. So, did you think along with the nominating committee in picking New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R)?

More and more, women set policy in state governments

The proportion of women from almost all racial and ethnic categories holding policy leadership posts in state governments rose to almost 35 percent this year, up from 28 percent five years ago, a study by the State University of New York-Albany shows. Gains for women are especially impressive in governors' offices: 43.7 percent of top advisers to chief executives are female, compared with 39.7 percent in 1997. States with the highest percentage of women in policymaking posts:

1. Florida 52.0%

2. Nevada 51.3

3. Oregon 50.0

(tie) Vermont 50.0

5. Massachusetts 47.6

6. Utah 43.3

7. Michigan 42.9

8. Iowa 42.4

9. Maryland 42.2

10. Wyoming 41.4

- Associated Press

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