Shoe soles don't do the job

There are chemical weapons programs, and then there's the project envisioned by China's Science Ministry. It's offering a grant for development of a nonpolluting liquid that will dissolve billions of wads of discarded chewing gum from the public areas of major cities - a major sanitation problem in a nation with more chewers than any other - for as little as two cents apiece.

Thirsty? Here's where water from the tap is rated No. 1

Don't fancy paying $1-plus for bottled water? Then you could visit the small town of Montpelier, Ohio. Its tap water was judged best in an annual international taste test in Berkeley Springs, W.Va. Representatives of nine countries took part in the contest, in which entries were rated on such criteria as flavor, odor, and aftertaste. The places with the best tap water:

1. Montpelier, Ohio
2. Metropolitan Water District, Los Angeles
3. Desert Hot Springs, Calif.
4. Canora, Saskatchewan
5. Kinross Charter Township, Kincheloe, Mich.
- Associated Press

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