That's life

Media-savvy kids fresh from the crib

Before many children have shed their training wheels or even their training pants, they enjoy a close acquaintance with electronic media. A quarter of those under 2 years old have television sets in their bedrooms, and two-thirds use some kind of screen media (computer, DVD, or television) on a typical day.

These findings are from a new national study of electronic media use by infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. The "Zero to Six" study, conducted by the Kaiser Foundation, a children's advocacy group in Washington, also revealed how early children are introduced to computers.

About half of children 6 and younger have used a computer, and by the time they are 4 to 6 years old:

• 27 percent have used a computer every day.

• 56 percent have used a computer by themselves.

• 64 percent know how to use a mouse to point and click.

• 40 percent can load a CD-ROM by themselves.

• 37 percent have turned the computer on by themselves.

• 17 percent have sent e-mail with the help of a parent.

Top 10 states for refugees

Every state receives an allocation of refugees by the US Department of Health and Human Services, with the following states leading the list with the largest allocations (shown in parentheses) over the past three years:

1. California (26,063)
2. New York (14,049)
3. Washington (12,447)
4. Florida (12,008)
5. Minnesota (8,647)
6. Georgia (6,220)
7. Illinois (5,993)
8. Missouri (5,779)
9. Pennsylvania (5,618)
10. Michigan (5,066)

Source: Office of Refugee Resettlement

Apples, apples everywhere

US growers expect to harvest 216.2 million bushels of apples this year, which is enough for 94 apples for every man, woman, and child in the country.

Other tidbits from the US Apple Association:

• The two highest-rated apple varieties are Golden Delicious and Granny Smith. They are the only varieties, among nearly 100, rated excellent for six uses: snacking, salads, pies, sauce, baking, and freezing.

• Properly refrigerated apples will last 90 days or longer.

• Trends being watched by the apple industry: year-round availability of apple cider, savory apple butter as a gourmet sandwich spread, and the sale of sliced apples in grocery stores.

• The US is second to China as an apple producer. Turkey, Poland, and Italy round out the top five.

The strange case of singles in Paradise

To identify a place in the United States where unmarried males outnumber unmarried females is not easy. To find one is to reach Paradise. Literally.

Paradise, Nev., an unincorporated suburb of Las Vegas, is that rare community where single women, age 15 and over, have the numbers in their favor. According to an analysis of Census 2000 data, there are 118 single men in Paradise for every 100 unmarried women. Generally speaking, the ratio is reversed in the rest of the country, with 100 unmarried women for every 86 unmarried men.

Other Sunbelt cities where women, proportionally, have more men to choose from are Fort Lauderdale, Fla; Tempe, Ariz.; and Sunnyvale and Santa Ana, Calif.

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