Really, that's quite enough

Make no mistake about it... now, more than ever, it's time to retire aging catchphrases. At least, that's the hope of the public-relations staff at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Since 1976, they've put out a New Year's Day list of overused and misused terms to banish from the popular lexicon. Other targets include "an undisclosed, secret location" - a redundancy used by some media in reference to Vice President Cheney's whereabouts, "material breach," "homeland security," and, from the world of advertising, "must-see TV" and "extreme" events or products.

Cleanup in all six lanes

Los Angeles commuters are all too familiar with traffic jams, but one that involved the closure of a freeway Dec. 31 just had to turn heads. A vegetable truck overturned, spilling 40,000 pounds of broccoli. Now if only they'd had a tanker of Hollandaise....

Storytelling 'wizard' is Britain's best-paid woman

"Harry Potter" series author J.K. Rowling is Britain's best-paid woman, according to an annual list compiled by the Mail on Sunday newspaper. Several other names from television, movies, or books also will be familiar to Americans (Madonna qualified because she's been living in London). The top 10 women on the paper's rich list, and their estimated 2002 earnings (in millions of dollars):

1. J.K. Rowling, author 77.3
2. Madonna, singer/actress 43.5
3. Robin Saunders, investment banker 18.8
4. Anne Robinson, host of quiz show "The Weakest Link" 17.7
5. Catherine Zeta-Jones, actress 16.9
6. Jackie Collins, author 16.1
7. Sharon Osbourne, of MTV's "The Osbournes" 15.8
8. Barbara Cassani, US-born founder of Go, a low-cost British airline acquired by rival easyJet 15.3
9. Kylie Minogue, singer 12.9
10. Jane Leeves, of the NBC sitcom "Frasier" 12.7
- Reuters, Ananova

Quote of the day

'Because I will be a champion for regular people in the White House every day.'

- Sen. John Edwards (D) of North Carolina, when asked by an NBC interviewer why voters should support his bid for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination.

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