Etc...

What a waste!

In a ceremony in San Miniato, Italy, last Saturday, townsfolk stood as men with shovels prepared the soil for a solemn burial. No, not for anyone local. For a truffle. The warty tuber was huge - 1.9 pounds - and had been bought at auction by a London restaurant for a record $52,000. But such was the demand by diners to see it that it rotted before it could be used. Regardless, Italian truffle fans asked for it back in the hope that it would sprout an even larger one next year.

Don't know what a blog is? You have lots of company

In a word, "blog" is hot, even if it's not always understood. That explains why its definition has been the most-requested this year by visitors to diction-ary publisher Merriam-Webster's website. The company plans to include a definition of "blog" in next year's updated 11th Collegiate Edition. For now, it provides this for Internet users: "a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer." Blogs have become a popular medium for political pundits, especially in the context of the last US presidential race. The words for which Internet users most often sought definitions:

1. blog
2. incumbent
3. electoral
4. insurgent
5. hurricane
6. cicada
7. peloton
8. partisan
9. sovereignty
- Associated Press

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