etc...

CAN WE COUNT ON YOU AGAIN?

Picture the embarrassment last week as the director of the Singapore Boys Brigade told journalists: "We're very sorry and upset over this ... very distressed that such a mistake has occurred." Goodness, what was it? Er, well, it seems people who live near the brigade's headquarters noticed - in its dumpster - toys and food collected from the public in a Christmas-presents-for-the-poor drive. They'd "inadvertently" been tossed out with other donations considered damaged or unsuitable. Sniffed one neighbor: "If they don't want the gifts, they should return them."

SAY, ISN'T THAT ...?

If you go to see the new movie "The Royal Tenenbaums" and one of the characters looks like the secretary-general of the UN, be assured he isn't, really. Kofi Annan, who also recently collected the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize, hasn't embarked on a second career. But he did serve as the inspiration for actor Danny Glover's appearance in the film after its director met him and admired the way he wears his hair, mustache, and goatee.

Pop economics: fewer tickets sold, more money made

In what will go down as an off year for the concert industry, rock band U2 recorded the second-biggest tour ever, according to Pollstar magazine. Although fewer tickets were sold, the top 100 acts took in $1.75 billion, a record take for the third straight year. Here's Pollstar's list of the top 10 concert tours in 2001 as determined by ticket revenues, in millions of dollars:

1. U2 $109.7

2. 'N Sync 86.8

3. Backstreet Boys 82.1

4. Dave Matthews Band 60.5

5. Elton John and Billy Joel 57.2

6. Madonna 54.7

7. Aerosmith 49.3

8. Janet Jackson 42.1

9. Eric Clapton 38.8

10. Neil Diamond 35.4

- Associated Press

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