Etc...

We timed it perfectly

By all accounts, the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 4, was a busy one at St. Mary's Medical Center in Racine, Wis. That's because at precisely 1:57, in neighboring delivery rooms, Rebecca Pisula and Rania Aranda gave birth to daughters. Now, you may assume that was pure coincidence, but the new mothers would argue otherwise. "No way," Rebecca says. "We think these girls have a bond." And that's because ... she and Rania are sisters-in-law. Each hoped to deliver the Pisula family's first granddaughter. But they happily settled for a tie.

I didn't want the job anyway

As we know, movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger won last week's gubernatorial election in California. But who finished last? That would be website operator Todd Richard Lewis. He attracted 172 votes; his own not among them. (He admits to casting his ballot for Schwarzenegger.) But if he couldn't be No. 1, he's happy being No. 135. "Really," he insisted to reporters, "I wouldn't want to be any other place."

US, European workers are the world's most productive

With total output valued above $60,000 per individual in 2002, US workers are the most productive in the world, according to a study of 240 nations by the International Labor Organization. That's partly due to efficient use of information technology, the UN agency said, but also to the fact that Americans put in more hours - 1,825 on average last year - compared with 1,300 to 1,800 for many Europeans. However, three European countries led the US in terms of worker productivity per hour. The top 10 in that category and the value of their labor per hour:

1. Norway $38.11
2. France 35.28
3. Belgium 34.36
4. US 32.43
5. Netherlands 32.31
6. Ireland 31.38
7. Denmark 30.25
8. Germany 29.39
9. Italy 28.74
10. Sweden 27.81 - Associated Press

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