Etc...

Should I be at the dedication?

What do martial-arts movie and TV hero Chuck Norris and Pato Pal have in common? OK, OK, we'll get to Pato Pal's identity in due course. But first, the answer: Both are candidates for the honor of having a new bridge named for them ... in Budapest, Hungary. In fact, they're the leader and runner-up, respectively. Wait, you say, Norris is American. Yes, but when the Ministry of Economy and Transport came up with the idea of asking the public in an online poll for whom the span should be named, someone proposed him because – well, because Hungary then could claim another first since there's no known "Chuck Norris Bridge" anywhere else in the world. As of Tuesday, the "Walker: Texas Ranger" star had almost 9,000 votes. Among the 500-odd other nominees are Szent Istvan, the "father" of the Hungarian state, the late reggae music icon Bob Marley, and – oh, yes – Pato Pal, a character in a beloved poem by 19th century literary giant Sandor Petoffi. Voting continues until Sept. 8 at www.m0hid.gov.hu, although if you don't read Magyar, the national language, it will be difficult to navigate the website until you find the poll. The bridge across the Danube River is projected to open in 2008.

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