Next time you're tempted to complain about the US Postal Service, think of Mikael Vickers. He's the letter carrier in Burton, Mich., who delivered a "cheer up" card from young Cameron Herrick to Melody Welch. So what, you ask? Well, the child is Welch's grandson, and he'd heard she was having difficulty dealing with the departure of her youngest for college. Thus the card, which said "I love you" and was covered with Xs and Os, for hugs and kisses. However, Cameron had trouble with the envelope. By the time it entered the mail stream, it bore no name or ZIP code and read only "Grama in the blue house, Vally Fored." Using intuition, Vickers went to Valley Forge Street in the town of 30,000 people, and, sure enough, found one blue house.


From New Zealand, comes good news and bad news about the state of public education. In a survey of 2,800 pupils, there was "significant improvement" in math scores over the results of four years ago. When it came to geography, however, two of every three 8- and 9-year-olds couldn't point to their own country on a map of the world.

Ranking nations the US can count on when it needs help

Of all the world's nations, Americans regard Britain and Canada as their closest allies, according to a poll by Harris Interactive. For all its help in the counterterrorism war, however, Pakistan was rated least friendly of 25 nations named in a survey of 1,000 adults. Harris's top five in each category, by percentage:

Close ally

1. Britain 64%
2. Canada 60%
3. Australia 43%
4. Israel 37%
5. Italy 30%


1. Pakistan 28%
2. China 21%
3. Colombia 14%
4. South Korea 10%
5. Israel 8%
– PR Newswire

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