See, he finds it soothing

The noise blasting from inside an apartment in Bremen, Germany, last week had been going on for so long that police felt compelled to respond to the complaints of neighbors. So when no one answered their knock on the door, they broke in, worried that the resident might be deceased. In fact, he wasn't even there. "All we found," a spokesman for the force said, "was a pet hamster." It seems the fellow was away on vacation and had left his radio on so the critter wouldn't feel lonely. At about that point, a friend who'd been feeding and cleaning up after the hamster arrived ... and agreed to lower the volume.

Too many doughnuts, eh?

Speaking of cops and doors, Sweden's national police headquarters is having a problem with its new security entrance. It was supposed to be built so that no one over 350 pounds can pass, but currently it's stopping people as light as 230. What's more, a recording tells those who are denied access: "Stop! One at a time!"

Lazy? Obese? Not us, say children in Connecticut

With so much talk these days about sedentary, overweight kids, Child magazine decided the time had come to rank the states on how well they do in fostering fitness in children. Connecticut, where some school districts have replaced junk food and soda in the cafeteria with yogurt and fruit, copped the top spot. During a five-month study, the publication examined more than a dozen factors, such as state-mandated fitness and nutrition policies, availability of safe playgrounds, rates of participation in youth sports, and the proliferation of fast-food outlets. The best states for youth fitness, according to Child magazine:

1. Connecticut
2. New York
3. Vermont
4. Massachusetts
5. Missouri
6. Maine
7. West Virginia
8. Wisconsin
9. Arkansas
10. Illinois

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