Etc...

DON'T EXPECT ANY POSTCARDS

There are people who enjoy traveling, and then there are John Bougen and James Irving. The New Zealanders plan to leave next week for a trip through all 192 of the world's countries, plus Vatican City ... in five months' time. They expect to start in Santiago, Chile, working their way up through the Americas, over to Iceland, down through Europe and Africa, across the Middle East and Asia, and returning home Feb. 1. And all using only commercial or public transportation. Estimated cost: $150,000 each, which they say they'll pay out of their own pockets. Yes, it's aimed at winning a listing in the Guinness Book of World Records.

WE HEARD YOU ON THE RADIO

In San Antonio, Texas, an alleged fraudster is awaiting trial because he was too pleased with himself. The suspect apparently couldn't resist calling a local talk show, "What Is Your Biggest Lie?," under an assumed name and describing how he bilked his insurance company in a stolen-truck scheme. Alas, he provided so much detail that police easily matched his story with their records in the case and arrested him.

New surfer-girl flick doesn't quite 'crush' the competition

"Blue Crush," a movie about a trio of fiercely competitive female surfers, made the biggest splash at the box office of last weekend's new film releases. But it still lagged behind "XXX" and the alien invasion-themed "Signs." The top 10 in box-office earnings (in millions) for Aug. 16-18, according to industry tracker Exhibitor Relations Inc.:

1. "XXX" $23.0
2. "Signs" 19.5
3. "Blue Crush" 15.2
4. "Spy Kids 2" 11.6
5. "Austin Powers in Goldmember" 8.7
6. "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" 5.8
7. "Blood Work" 4.8
8. "Road to Perdition" 3.8
9. "Master of Disguise" 3.3
10. "The Adventures of Pluto Nash" 2.2
– Reuters

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