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Drought can be a good thing

If you were to happen upon a news story about the searing heat wave in Europe sending public safety officials into action, you'd probably assume it had to do with providing relief for the elderly, right? Ah, but not this time. Instead, the two have combined in another way. It seems the plus-100 degree F. temperatures have lowered the water level in Lake Constance, on the German/ Swiss/Austrian border significantly, exposing eight unexploded bombs and other ordnance that had been sub- merged since before the end of World War II. All have been removed for safe disposal.

Anyone else feel a chill?

But while soaring temperatures in Europe have environmental groups raising new alarms over global warming, folks in one traditional hot spot are wondering why their thermometers are plunging. That would be the Sultanate of Oman, where July temperatures have averaged 113 degrees F. for 20 straight years. But the mean reading last month at Seeb International Airport in Muscat, the capital, was a cool 95.

What problems? California ranks as No. 1 magnet state

Despite its increasingly circus- like gubernatorial recall effort, its massive budget deficit, and occasional natural disasters, California is still the state where most Americans say they'd like to live (other than their own). That's according to results of an annual survey of more than 2,200 adults by pollster Harris Interactive. The Golden State claimed the top spot last year, ending Florida's five-year reign. The 10 most popular states, according to the poll, which was conducted online last month, and their respective 2002 rankings (in parentheses):

1. California (1)
2. Florida (2)
3. Hawaii (3)
4. Colorado (4)
5. New York (8)
6. Arizona (6)
7. Texas (14)
8. North Carolina (5)
9. Virginia (12)
10. Washington (9) - PR Newswire

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