Maybe this'll work

Harry Potter: He's the hero of bestselling books for young people, the lead character in two movies (so far) based on those books, and - soon perhaps - the governor of Sverd-lovsk. Huh? It seems a veteran of unsuccessful election campaigns in the Russian region hundreds of miles southeast of Moscow has decided voters might find him more appealing this time around if he changed his name to that of the wildly popular fictional boy wizard. The only catch: The law requires a person who wants to make such a change to keep a middle name derived from his father's first name. Thus, the ballot will list our guy as Harry Ivanovich Potter.

Must I answer that?

How enthusiastically do Britons look forward to the day when Prince Charles succeeds to the throne? Maybe the better question is: How soon until the title can go instead to his elder son, Prince William? Alas for Charles, the results of a new national poll show that only 42 percent of respondents want him, down from 58 percent a year ago. Of the other possible options, William was the leading vote-getter.

Quote of the day

'After some reasonably finite period of time, they will be gone.'

- Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, concluding his first news briefing on the war against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's regime.

Mothers of invention: which colleges earn most patents

The University of California kept its title as patent king for a ninth year in 2002, receiving more than its three closest rivals combined, according to a report by the Patent and Trademark Office. Patents can affect research funding that is pivotal for many institutions, and spur advances in technology, pharmaceuticals, and other industries. The top 10 patenting universities, and how many each received last year:

1. University of California 431
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 135
3. California Institute of Technology 109
4. Stanford University 104
5. University of Texas 93
6. University of Wisconsin 81
(tie) Johns Hopkins University
8. State University of New York 55
9. Penn State University 50
10. Michigan State University 49

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