NOW THAT'S A VANISHING ACT
What may be India's best-known landmark, the Taj Mahal, is about to disappear, sort of. No, it's not a stunt by the likes of magician David Copperfield. As tensions escalate with Pakistan, Indian officials plan to camouflage the huge, white-marble monument to love in the warlike tones of olive drab in case of an air attack. What good is hiding a site that's been famous since the 17th century? It may sound strange, but it wouldn't be the first time. The Taj Mahal was covered in green cloth in 1971, during a previous war with Pakistan.
Golfers, are you tired of playing the same old course? If you're ready for a change, here's one: a course with holes in each of three countries - Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. The last already is a world-class golf destination. Ah, but there's more. At the moment, the proposed site, 400 miles northeast of Bangkok, happens to be littered with unexploded land mines from the Khmer Rouge era in Cambodia and subsequent invasion by the Vietnamese military. Not to worry, though. "Yes," admits Thai Tourism Minister Somsak Thepsutin, "the area is booby-trapped." But, he's confident it will be "a piece of cake for the three countries to solve."
Wizards, ogres, and other hairy folk made 2001 a banner year for Hollywood, with ticket sales in North America set to top $8 billion, a first. A record five films earned more than $200 million, with boy wizard Harry Potter leading the pack. Also rare: Two of the five - "Shrek" and "Monsters, Inc." - were animated. "Lord of the Rings" didn't make it by New Years, but will soon, earning $174 million in two weeks. The top five, in millions, according to ACNielsen EDI:
1. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" $286
2. "Shrek" 267
3. "Monsters, Inc." 236
4. "Rush Hour 2" 226
5. "The Mummy Returns" 202
- Associated Press