News In Brief


"I never dreamed it would come to this," Rachel Kerr said after a tasty dinner in Sydney, Australia. You might think she'd discovered a delightful new neighborhood restaurant. Not quite. It was more like a takeout order ... from 10,850 miles away in England. Rachel, who was vacationing, had jokingly sought help via e-mail for her craving for curry. Four days later, the meal arrived via courier from a curry house in her native Newcastle. Best of all, its $28.90 price and $242.70 shipping charge were waived because the restaurateur and courier saw the potential for a listing in the Guinness Book of World Records.


In Albion, Pa., Harold Benich has done his part to help conserve energy. Fooling around in his garage, he built what may be the US's first motorcycle that runs on soybean oil. The two-year project cost $15,000 in mail-order parts, plus a modified diesel engine salvaged from a construction site. The bike gets 100 miles per gallon, although admittedly its exhaust smells like french fries.

Master-planned communities thrive in warm, sunny states

Plenty of sunshine, large tracts of available land, lots of affordable housing, strong employment growth, and rapid population gains: These are all characteristics found in many areas with master-planned communities (MPC) - large new developments that feature not only a variety of home styles, but also parks, schools, and shopping. Robert Charles Lesser & Co., a real-estate advisory firm with offices in Atlanta and other cities, conducts an annual survey to ascertain which MPCs in the US have the most home sales. For the past four years, it has been Summerlin in Las Vegas. The top MPCs by 2000 sales:

1. Summerlin, Las Vegas 3,173

2. Irvine Ranch, Orange County, Calif. 2,377

3. The Villages, Orlando-Ocala, Fla. 1,849

4. Weston, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 1,728

5. The Woodlands, Houston 1,679

- Business Wire

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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