Etc...

SIR, PLEASE COME WITH US

Some folks aren't up on the news, and then there's the fellow who tried to pass a security checkpoint in San Francisco's airport last week with wires sticking out of a pair of shoes in his carry-on bag. The unidentified Chinese national, bound for New York with a tour group, must have been bewildered as police cleared the gate while he and the footwear were taken to a secure area. He speaks little English, so he couldn't explain that the shoes contained – no, not explosives – battery-powered heating units to keep his feet warm. The cops blew them up anyway. In December, a would-be suicide bomber on a transatlantic flight tried to set his explosive-laden sneakers on fire.

TRIPLETS NEED NOT APPLY

In Brisbane, Australia, identical twin sisters Lake and Flame – they don't use a surname – have set up what they claim is the world's first online matchmaking service for ... twins. It's based on the notion that "a lot of twins have trouble in relationships because their partners don't understand the closeness" of the sibling bond. www.twinsrealm.com already has a database of 30 members, at $9.95 each.

Ideas for a TV-free week if you can tear yourself away

Statistics show American adults watch more than 28 hours of TV a week, on average. Children watch 21 hours. But organizers of the annual TV-Turnoff Week are urging couch potatoes to go tubeless April 22-28. The Washington-based nonprofit estimates 6 million people took part last year. The following are among 101 time-consuming alternatives that the group lists on its website, www.tvturnoff.org:

Start a garden.

Take a walk or bicycle ride.

Make a scrapbook.

Cook with family or friends.

Visit a library, museum, or zoo.

Listen to music.

Write a letter.

Tutor a child.

Look at the stars.

Climb a tree.

– Associated Press

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