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HOW I SPENT MY VACATION

Other college professors are busy preparing for the new academic year. Not Richard Rodriguez. The University of Chicago lecturer is still at an amusement park in Hassloch, Germany, doing what he has done every day for three months: riding its rollercoaster from the opening of the gates in the morning until they close at night. If all goes well, he has a week to go until he sets a world record for endurance. But hasn't the novelty worn off by now? For sure. "I read the newspapers," Rodriguez said. "I have a [Sony] Walkman. I have my cellphone ... I've been on this for a quarter of a year now, so I'm kind of anxious for the ending."

I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE

In 1948, barely three years after World War II, a national survey found that despite the battering their proud country had taken, only 42 percent of Britons wanted to go somewhere else to live. But that was then, and today apparently the opposite is true. The cost of living is too high, the job market isn't good, and the weather is terrible, 54 percent of respondents complained to poll takers for London's Daily Telegraph newspaper, and they'd leave in a heartbeat if they could. Destination of choice: the US.

Minority athletes in great demand for TV, print ads

While few advertisers offered product-endorsement deals to minority celebrities 25 years ago, today these people are tapping into a $682.5 billion market. Example: Tennis star Venus Williams has a $40 million contract with Reebok, the most lucrative yet for a female athlete, according to Black Enterprise magazine. The magazine's list of the top 10 minority endorsers:

1. Tiger Woods, golfer
2. Venus Williams, tennis
3. Michael Jordan, basketball
4. Shaquille O'Neal, basketball
5. Allen Iverson, basketball
6. Kobe Bryant, basketball
7. Serena Williams, tennis
8. George Foreman, ex-boxer
9. James Earl Jones, actor
10. Tom Joyner, talk-show host

– PR Newswire

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