Automobiles are my life

It may be that no one else in Sheffield, England, takes better care of a vehicle than Colin Sadd. He goes over the interiors with a fine-tooth comb. He lovingly washes and waxes the exteriors so they have that extra-shiny look. He is so meticulous, in fact, that he has been called the man you'd most want to steal your car. And therein lies the problem. Sadd has been sent back to jail after pleading guilty to swiping five of them. Alas, that brings to 156 his convictions for such offenses. Complained his wife, Mary: "He look[s] after the cars better than me."

We don't need any lawsuits

Speaking of gender relations, the English National Opera's new policy directive advises its staff to stop calling people one of the pet terms used by performing artists: "darling." There are those, a spokesman explained, who may regard that as inappropriate - even as sexual harassment. "We live," he added, "in a litigious society."

Why millions of voters did not fulfill their civic duty

Remembering how close the 2000 presidential election was, the Republican and Democratic parties almost certainly are gearing up to coax every registered voter to the polls Nov. 2, especially given the large number who failed to turn out four years ago. According to recently released Census Bureau data, 14 percent of registered voters, or about 19 million people, didn't cast ballots. Their reasons ranged from being too busy to bad weather. The reasons, and the percentage of nonvoters who cited each:

Too busy 20.9%
Illness or emergency 14.8
Not interested 12.2
I was out of town 10.2
Didn't like the candidates or the issues 7.7
I was turned away 7.5
Registration problems 6.9
I forgot 4.0
It wasn't convenient 2.6
Transportation issues 2.4
Bad weather 0.6
Other 10.2

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