Does this make us famous?

What do chessboards and fresh eggs have in common? At first blush, nothing - right? But, in fact, both are responsible for new entries in the Guinness Book of World Records . In a public park in Pachuca, Mexico, last Saturday, 12,388 people gathered to test their skills at moving kings, queens, knights, rooks, and pawns against those of their opponents . That was 1,068 more players than had done the same three years before in Havana, Cuba. Earlier last week, in Chiayi County, Taiwan, residents stood 1,972 eggs on end - for an entry in the Guinness book and in tribute to the summer solstice . All participants were required to work alone. Their feat eclipsed the 1,290 eggs that Brigham Young University students stood upright in Provo, Utah, in March 2003.

An agency to bail you out when pension checks stop

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.: It's a congressionally mandated agency with a ponderous name but a mission that has become increasingly critical in recent weeks. It ensures that when companies fail, the retirement checks earned by their employees are still paid. Its programs, financed via insurance paid by participating employers, cover 44 million Americans participating in defined pension plans in the private sector. Of late, it has begun to feel the strain of overextended companies, such as United Airlines, which in April dumped its underfunded $9.8 billion pension plan in the PBGC's lap. Analysts warn that other carriers may not be far behind. In millions of dollars, the following states led the nation last year in pension benefits paid by the PBGC:

1. Pennsylvania $514.9
2. Ohio 325.0
3. Florida 221.5
4. Illinois 206.4
5. Indiana 200.4
6. Maryland 173.0
7. New York 161.3
8. Michigan 138.5
9. California 99.3
10. Massachusetts 82.8

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