A simple handshake will do

If you'll be traveling to the Philippines soon and happen to cross paths with newly elected President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, do not attempt to congratulate her by means of a kiss on the cheek. For starters, her security guards almost certainly won't permit it. But she also has served notice that she has had enough already, even though the practice is a popular and time-honored Filipino custom, known as "beso-beso." Kisses, she told a recent town meeting, are reserved for her husband, adding: "I am conservative .... Please, so that I won't be rude to you, do not attempt to kiss me."

Is G.I. Joe due a promotion to the toy hall of fame?

The Toy Hall of Fame, which was established six years ago in Salem, Ore., and moved to its permanent home at the Strong Museum, in Rochester, N.Y., in 2002, has enshrined 28 classics so far. Now, fans of G.I. Joe action figures believe their beloved toy soldiers should join the ranks. "We like to say G.I. Joe has saved the world a million times over - one backyard at a time," says Brian Savage, director of the G.I. Joe Collectors' Club. Certainly, the figures are popular. About 400 million have been sold since Hasbro Inc. introduced them in 1964. Among other criteria, to be nominated to the hall (in September) and selected (in November), a toy also must be safe, be a cultural icon, and have educational value. Toys already in the hall of fame:

alphabet blocks
Barbie dolls
Crayola crayons
Duncan Yo-Yo
Etch a Sketch
jigsaw puzzle
LEGO bricks
Lincoln Logs
Mr. Potato Head
Raggedy Ann
roller skates
Slinky wire coil
Tonka trucks
Radio Flyer Wagon
the bicycle
Erector set
Hula Hoop
jump rope
Silly Putty
teddy bear

- Associated Press

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