It's mine, and I want it back

There's road rage, and then there is what happened earlier this week in Mashhad, Iran, when a pedestrian spotted a woman he didn't know driving by in a car he was certain was his. Angrily, he gave chase and accused her of stealing. The case appeared air-tight, too; the car even had his license plate firmly attached. But her protestations of innocence at least led him to phone his family and ask whether his car was at home where he'd left it. It was. Investigation showed that the vehicles, identical in every respect, had inadvertently been issued the same registration.

Now, where's the stew pot?

If you missed the announcement, the new world champion oyster-opener is Norwegian Ola Nilsson. Nilsson, who's also a chef, pried 30 of the prized shellfish loose in 2 minutes, 39 seconds, defeating contestants from 17 other countries, among them defending champ Hans Johannesson of Sweden.

Smartest public schools are in north, study finds

Anyone who begrudges Massachusetts its elite academic status just because it had the nation's first public school and first college may not like this, but the reputation is still deserved, apparently. For the second year in a row, the state has been rated the nation's smartest by Morgan Quitno Press. (Finishing last for the third straight year: New Mexico.) In arriving at its rankings, the Lawrence, Kansas, research firm assigns weighted scores in each of 21 categories, such as graduation rates for public high schools; proficiency in reading, writing, and math; teacher-pupil ratios; and per-pupil expenditures. Scores ranged from plus-18.43 to minus-18.09. The 10 "smartest states" and their scores:
1. Massachusetts +18.43
2. Connecticut +15.78
3. Vermont +14.77
4. New Jersey +14.42
5. Wisconsin +9.62
6. New York +9.07
7. Minnesota +7.96
8. Iowa +7.80
9. Pennsylvania +7.57
10. Montana +6.97

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