He's just huge

File this one under "How times have changed." Not long ago, any discussion of China's top celebrities would have begun and ended with government and Communist Party chiefs. But now Forbes magazine, in its Chinese-language edition, has announced the results of a survey on the nation's leading public figures. So, who ended up No. 1? Yao Ming, the 7 foot, 6 inch multimillionaire center of the National Basketball Association's Houston Rockets. Most of the others are fellow athletes, film-industry personalities, or musicians.

Oh, shoot!

Refrigerators are excellent when you need a hiding place. No, not in them, of course; behind them. Case in point: a Howard, Wis., couple who returned from vacation recently, forgetting he'd stashed his firearms and ammunition in the oven to keep them out of view. When she tried to preheat the appliance to cook dinner, the weaponry soon began doing what guns and bullets do. Only the fridge offered cover until the attack was over.

Here, Bowser, it's time for your favorite program

Do dogs watch TV? According to results of a survey released by the American Kennel Club and Iams, a leading maker of pet-care products, they do. About 50 percent of the nation's pooch population watches the tube - mainly to be with their owners, since so many people relax in front of TV. Eighty-seven percent of those surveyed said their dogs curl up next to them - or at their feet - when watching television. Canines, of course, sometime star in movies, shows, and even commercials, making it natural to poll owners on their all-time favorite TV dogs. The winner: Lassie, even though the series of the same name was canceled 30 years ago. The top vote-getters by percentage:

1. Lassie 25%
2. Scooby Doo 22%
3. Snoopy 20%
4. Eddie (of the 'Fraser' series) 10%
5. Rin Tin Tin (write-in votes)

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