Question: What is ketchup good for? Well, other than as a garnish on burgers, it makes a fine distress signal. Take the 31 folks trapped inside a pub at 9,500 feet in South Africa's mountains by heavy blizzards, for instance. With food running low and outside temperatures dropping to minus-22 degrees F., rescue was becoming urgent. But how to signal for help? Just then, a savvy mountaineer hiked in, tramped a large letter "H" into the deep snow, and used ketchup from the kitchen to make it visible from the air. It wasn't long before a military helicopter arrived to lift everyone to safety.


In Burnaby, British Columbia, police wrote 90 tickets in four hours for the failure of motorists to wear seat belts. How? By going undercover to offer free windshield cleanings while cars were stopped at major intersections.

Major US companies where blacks wield the most clout

Stanley O'Neal, who will take over as chief executive (CEO) of brokerage giant Merrill Lynch in December, is the nation's most powerful black executive, according to Fortune magazine. For the list, the magazine looked for people who put their clout "to active use." Fortune's top 10 black executives, their job titles, and the companies they run:

1. Stanley O'Neal, chief operating officer, Merrill Lynch

2. Ken Chenault, CEO, American Express

3. Richard Parsons, CEO, AOL Time Warner

4. Franklin Raines, CEO, Fannie Mae

5. Thomas Jones, CEO global investments, private banking, asset management, Citigroup

6. Bruce Gordon, president of retail markets, Verizon

7. Adebayo Ogunlesi, head of investment banking, Credit Suisse First Boston

8. Calvin Darden, senior vice president – US operations, United Parcel Service

9. Vernon Jordan, senior managing director, Lazard LLC

10. Oprah Winfrey, chairman and CEO, Harpo Inc.

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