Etc...

Uh, I found this in my attic

In Orchard Park, N.Y., earlier this month, Joel Schlesinger walked into the public library, handed over a copy of a book he was finished with, paid a fine (since it was overdue ), and left. Ho hum, doesn't that happen in libraries all the time? Yes, but this case was a bit different from most others. It seems the book, "The Joy of Camping," had been borrowed in 1981 , and Schlesinger decided it was only fair that he make amends for keeping it so long. What's more, he didn't think it was right to pay only the maximum $15 fine, especially since the library system there is short on funds. So he did the math and calculated that at 25 cents a day he owed ... $2,190 . What makes the story all the more remarkable is that Schlesinger now makes his home almost 400 miles away in northern New Jersey.

China already rivals US as a consumer colossus

Although the United States is still the Gulliver of consumer societies, fast-industrializing China is catching up. That, at least, is the view of the Earth Policy Institute, which says the Chinese have overtaken Americans in the total consumption of even modern items like TVs and cellphones. Yearly consumption, in millions, of key resources and products in the two countries, as calculated by the institute:

China US

Steel (tons) 258 104
Cellphones (in use) 269 159
Televisions (in use) 374 243
PCs (in use) 36 190
Oil (barrels per day) 7 20
Automobiles (in use) 24 226
Fertilizer (tons) 40 20
Grain (tons) 382 278

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