Ignore this sign

Two artists have earned themselves considerable notoriety in Paris for what they did to the fa├žades of buildings around the city. No, it wasn't executed with cans of spray paint. Nor was it obscene or culturally insensitive. Well, what was it, then? Answer: a rash of faux marble plaques, applied with glue, that closely resemble the official commemoratives put up by the government to honor war heroes, literary giants, great moments in history, and the like. In particular, one of the pranksters' creations read: "On April 17, 1967, nothing happened here."

May I borrow your scissors?

Fame also has found its way to an electrician in France's No. 2 city, Lyon. Eric - he won't reveal his last name - has just won a listing in the Guinness Book of World Records for the "most practical suit of clothing." Each day, in pockets, folds, and Velcro attachments, he carries around up to 1,300 small but useful objects, ranging from a screwdriver to an inflatable mattress. Why not use a backpack, you ask? Too heavy, he says.

* 'I'm just glad that it's over, to be honest with you.'

- Jim Spinosa, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, after marathon negotiations yielded a tentative deal in a labor dispute that closed 29 West Coast ports and cost the economy billions of dollars in losses.

Where in the world? Survey finds gaps in geo-knowledge

Only 13 percent of Americans could find Iraq on a map in a recent survey of 300 18-to-24-year-olds commissioned by the National Geographic Society. A mere 17 percent could pinpoint Afghanistan (although where the US is concerned only 1 respondent in 10 came up empty). Only Mexicans fared worse on the quiz, which was conducted in nine countries. National Geographic is convening an international panel on ways to promote geo-literacy and interest in world affairs. How the participating nations stacked up, by average number of correct answers (out of 56 questions):

1. Sweden 40
2. Germany 38 (tie) Italy
4. France 34
5. Japan 31
6. Britain 28
7. Canada 27
8. US 23
9. Mexico 21 - Associated Press

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