News In Brief


If you like to while away company time by practicing your golfing technique on the carpet, the Office Putting Championship may be just the event for you. Started in Chicago four years ago, the competition begins with elimination rounds at each participating workplace, then advances to the finals, which were to be held last week. The course? Each firm designs five holes with hazards like desks and printers - hitting any of which will result in a penalty stroke. "I loved it," said one participant. "And I'm not even a golfer."


A motorist in Kuwait - we'll call him Ahmed - felt justified in filing a complaint with police. After all, the exterior of his VW was damaged, and the windows were broken. Who was he blaming? Well, a horse. Ahmed and the equine, owned by the Interior Ministry, were in a parade celebrating the 10th anniversary of liberation from Iraq when the latter apparently was unnerved by exploding fireworks and kicked the car.

Feeling disconnected? Try moving to New Hampshire.

"Social capital," a term measuring the degree to which people in a geographic area feel connected to one another, ranks higher in New Hampshire than anywhere else in the US, results of a new study by Harvard University and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University indicate. Their Community Benchmark Survey, based on almost 30,000 interviews in 29 states, asked such questions as "How many of your neighbors' first names do you know?" and "Do you sign petitions?" Responses were weighted according to the age distribution, educational levels, ethnicity, and population density of the 42 places surveyed. Scores ranged upward from 64 for the lowest finisher, Los Angeles County. The top five:

New Hampshire 138

Montana 130

York, Pa. 117

Metropolitan Cincinnati 116

Auburn-Lewiston, Maine 114 (tie) Fremont/Newaygo County, Mich. 114

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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