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SEE, IT'S ALL IN THE TECHNIQUE

If you're keeping score at home, dairy farmer Petri Valta is your winner and new record-holder in the third annual Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships. Valta, who's from Lapinlahti, Finland, said he prepared by lifting weights and blocking out all other thoughts except achieving the best possible trajectory. He hurled a Nokia model 5510 215 feet to defeat almost 100 other contestants from seven countries. "It was easy to throw," he said, "because it wasn't my own phone."

we're short of manpower

And if you follow the news from Brazil, you may know that the South American nation has an ongoing problem with prison breakouts. Now a local judge may have found one reason why. On a tour of Taubate Detention Center near São Paulo, his honor discovered the guard in one of its watchtowers was a straw scarecrow dressed in a police uniform. Authorities are investigating the "grave breach of security rules."

The farther west, the more Americans enjoy their jobs

Western and Pacific states have the most satisfied workers, a new survey by the Conference Board has found. Nationwide, 51 percent of 5,000 people surveyed gave a thumbs up to their jobs, down from 59 percent in 1995. The regions in the survey and the percentage in each who said they enjoy their work: Mountain (Mont., Idaho, Wyo., Colo., N.M., Ariz., Utah, Nev.) 57%

Pacific (Wash., Ore., Calif., Alaska, Hawaii) 56
East North Central (Ohio, Ind., Ill., Mich., Wisc.) 51
West South Central (Ark., La., Okla., Texas) 51
Middle Atlantic (N.J., N.Y., Pa.) 50
South Atlantic (Del., Md., Va., W.Va., N.C., S.C., Ga., Fla.) 49
East South Central (Ky., Tenn., Ala., Miss.) 46
West North Central (Minn., Mo., Iowa, N.D., S.D., Kan., Neb.) 45
New England (Conn., R.I., Mass., Maine, N.H., Vt.) 44
– Associated Press

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