Looking for a "different" vacation experience this year? Then you might be interested in a $400-per-person package offered by Kamstra Travel, a widely known Dutch agency. You'd join nine others in Paris for "a good meal," followed by a night's sleep in your very own cardboard box - under a bridge. No fair sneaking off to a hotel, either. Cash and credit cards are confiscated, and money must be obtained via begging, sidewalk art, or playing a guitar for passers-by (pencils or instrument - your choice - provided). The idea is aimed at companies wanting to build team spirit. But so far, it's only drawing fire from charities that aid the homeless.


Speaking of spending time in Europe, results of a new survey indicate Italian women work longer hours than their sisters anywhere else on the continent: at least 10 a day, counting household chores and cooking. At the other end of the scale, are the Swedes and Finns, who toil 7 to 8 hours.

Ranking the US's most racially uniform communities

Livonia, Mich., has the highest percentage of whites of any city with 100,000 or more people - about 95.5 percent of its population. Conversely, Gary, Ind., has the greatest percentage - 85.3 - of African-American residents. The figures are from a new Census Bureau study on the geography of blacks and whites based on the 2000 national head count. Cities of 100,000 or more with the largest percentages of white and black residents, according to the Census Bureau:


1. Gary, Ind. 84.0%

2. Detroit 81.6

3. Birmingham, Ala. 73.5

4. Jackson, Miss. 70.6

5. New Orleans 67.3


1. Livonia, Mich. 95.5

2. Cape Coral, Fla. 93.0

3. Boise, Idaho 92.2

4. Independence, Mo. 91.9

5. Scottsdale, Ariz. 92.2

- Associated Press

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