And if you believe that one ...

News flash: George Kemp has retained his title as the World's Biggest Liar. In last week's edition of the annual competition in Santon Bridge, England, he won the £25 ($39.50 US) prize and a silver loving cup by describing how he rode a balsa wood motorcycle to victory in a race on the Isle of Man, pausing to ask advice from a star race-car driver who happened to be walking his dog on the course. Last year, Kemp described a greyhound race whose winner was so fast that she had time to stop and deliver a litter of puppies en route to the finish line.

I'm busy; you'll have to do it

The gender gap is closing fast all over the developed world, right? Not when it comes to household chores in Japan. According to the latest survey for the Ministry of Public Management, the average married man spends 33 minutes a day washing dishes, taking out the trash, and the like. That's eight minutes more than when the last previous survey was taken, in 1997. But what about the lady of the house, you ask? Her average dropped seven minutes over the same span - but is still 3-3/4 hours a day.

The final word.

'The terrorists are not going to wait for a process that will go on days, weeks or months. We fought this fight. We need to get this done.'

Senate minority leader Trent Lott (R) of Mississippi. The Senate voted 52-47 Tuesday against a Democratic effort to strip what they called seven 'special-interest' provisions out of legislation creating a Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Lott, while not happy with how the provisions were inserted in the bill, said passage of the overall measure was more important.


Equal pay for equal work: women do best up North

Women are closest to achieving economic equality with men in three states - Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Vermont - according to a new report by the Institute for Women's Policy Research. At the opposite end of the scale: Kentucky, Tennessee, and, lastly, Mississippi. The Washington-based nonprofit organization based its rankings on median annual income for women, the difference in pay between the genders (72.7 cents to the dollar, on average, nationwide), and the percentage of women employed outside the home. The top eight states for women income-earners, according to the IWPR study:

1. Massachusetts Minnesota Vermont
2. Connecticut Washington
3. Alaska
4. Maine New Hampshire

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