sun? what sun? where?

Rainy, cloudy days are so common in Oregon that folks there joke about being web-footed. Even the University of Oregon's athletic teams are nicknamed Ducks. Still, all that hasn't put a damper on plans to use solar power to light the 23-foot Golden Pioneer statue atop the Capitol in Salem (annual average precipitation: 39.16 inches). The state is installing collectors on the roof next month and expects them to generate about 7.8 kilowatts. Oregon's "bad rap"for lack of sunshine is unfair, contends the president of the state Solar Energy Association: "We have cloudy winters, but our summers counterbalance it."


On "Dress Like Your Favorite Book Character Day" at Crestridge Elementary School in Omaha, Neb., last week, one sixth-grader showed up in a tunic, carrying a shepherd's staff, because he so admired Jesus as a man of peace. That is, until a pupil from a neighboring middle school decided to tell him he looked more like Little Bo Peep. There were no serious injuries from the resulting tussle, but it was spirited enough to require police intervention.

I love ... Zürich? Swiss city is rated world's most livable

Three Swiss cities are among the best in the world in which to live, while Brazzaville, Congo, is the worst, according to a survey by human resources consultants William M. Mercer LLC. Using New York (No. 41) as its baseline, the company rated 215 locales on political and economic stability, personal safety, public services, and other criteria. This year's top 10:

1. Zürich, Switzerland

2. Vancouver, Canada

(tie) Vienna

4. Geneva

(tie) Sydney, Australia

6. Frankfurt

(tie) Helsinki, Finland

(tie) Auckland, New Zealand

(tie) Copenhagen, Denmark

10. Bern, Switzerland

(tie) Munich, Germany

- Reuters

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