You go, girl

From rural Wanaka, New Zealand, comes word of a contest later this month to find the perfect woman. So far, there are 15 entries for the event, which pays $1,000 (US $475) to the winner. Among the categories to be judged: backing up a trailer full of hay; changing a tire; lifting a sheep into shearing position; and removing a beer bottle cap without a standard opener. No swimsuit competition, though. The organizer said he expected "she might not be a picture, but she can do a lot of things other women can't."

Tuna? No. Cod? No. Halibut?

How can I show more support for my constituents? member of Parliament Austin Mitchell asked himself. He represents Grimsby, England, which, as a commercial fishing center, is preparing for National Seafood Week. Solution: legally changing his surname to Haddock. "As long as it's fun," he said, "I shall carry on."

Nice pants

Baseball players have all kinds of superstitions. Some jump over the base lines as they are heading off the field; others wear the same sweaty caps all season. For New York Yankees star Jason Giambi, it's his pants. Even though his pinstriped trousers look as if they have endured one slide too many, Giambi refuses to change – even when the Fox Sports Network showed close-ups of the holes in his pants during the first game of the 2002 Division Series game against Anaheim on Tuesday.

"I know it drives Mr. Steinbrenner crazy," says Giambi. "But I like to be consistent and this is my routine."

Since Giambi went 3-for-4 against the Angels, including a game-tying hit in the bottom of the eighth inning, it's doubtful George Steinbrenner, the Yankees' owner, will send in his tailor.

– Ron Scherer, New York

Rating school programs that best mix ethics, academics

(US Newswire) Nine US schools and one school district have been recognized for promoting the ethical, social, and emotional development of their students, along with academic excellence. The annual awards are given by the Character Education Partnership, an advocacy group based in Washington. Winners receive a banner and a $2,000 grant. The 2002 National Schools of Character:

Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township, Ind.
Lydiksen Elementary School, Pleasanton, Calif.
Moraine Elementary School, Northville, Mich.
West Hillsborough Elementary School, Hillsborough, Calif.
Nueva School, Hillsborough, Calif.
Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Greenbelt, Md.
Malcolm Shabazz High School, Madison, Wis.
New Hampton School, New Hampton, N.H.
Quest High School, Humble, Texas
Scarsdale Alternative School, Scarsdale, N.Y.

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