Buildings shook Monday when a medium-strong earthquake struck much of New Zealand. At last report, it caused little or no damage, for which news broadcasters were especially grateful. Why? Because the quake apparently was centered below the place with one of the world's longest names: Tauma-tawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu. Don't take the time to look up the meaning. It's ethnic Maori for "the hill where Tama-tea, the man with the big knees, known as 'land-eater,' caused plaintive music from his flute to ascend to his beloved."


Were you wondering what Thailand will contribute to the US-led anti-terrorism fight? Well, for one thing, shirt sleeves. Shirt sleeves? Yup. Out of concern that hostilities might trigger a global energy crisis, government bureaucrats and lawmakers have been urged to leave their suit coats at home so as to free up the fuel that would be used to make electricity for air conditioning.

'Star Wars': also a classic with film fans outside US

"Star Wars" and its sequel, "The Empire Strikes Back," were voted the two best movies of all time in a survey conducted by London-based Empire magazine. Readers ranked Robert De Niro as best film actor, followed by Kevin Spacey. Julia Roberts was voted top actress just ahead of Jodie Foster. Empire magazine readers' favorite films:

1. "Star Wars"

2. "The Empire Strikes Back"

3. "Shawshank Redemption"

4. "The Godfather"

5. "The Matrix"

6. "Fight Club"

7. "Gladiator"

8. "Goodfellas"

9. "Breakfast At Tiffany's"

10. "Pulp Fiction"

11. "Raiders Of The Lost Ark"

12. "The Usual Suspects"

13. "Jaws"

14. "American Beauty"

15. "Casablanca"

- Reuters

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