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Of Human Interest: News-lite

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International   |   Jan. 28, 2002 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

DO YOU WANT FRIES WITH THAT GOLD MEDAL?

For the fourth time, McDonald's will be serving athletes and officials taking part in the Olympics. In fact, the fast-food giant is the only restaurant chain with an outlet in this year's Olympic Village in Salt Lake City.

Besides the usual favorites, the McDonald's Olympic Village restaurant will serve special "Tastes of the Day." such as Snack Parfaits and Wedge Cut Fries with dipping sauces.

400 top employees from McDonald's restaurants around the world will feed athletes from 6 a.m. to midnight, starting Tuesday and running through Feb. 24. During that time, officials estimate they'll serve 30,000 Big Macs, 20,000 orders of fries, 16,000 hamburgers and cheeseburgers, 13,000 double cheeseburgers and 11,000 Egg McMuffins.


SONGBIRD

The New York firefighter known as "America's Tenor," Daniel Rodriguez, will perform at the 2002 Winter Olympics pre-opening ceremony on Feb. 8. The performance will air live on NBC-TV. Rodriguez will sing his hit "God Bless America," which is included on his debut album "The Spirit Of America." The CD (on Manhattan Records) hits stores Feb. 12 and also includes other patriotic songs, as well as traditional tunes and Broadway classics.


REASONS TO CELEBRATE THIS WEEK:

MONDAY: This is Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. Where would we be without it?

TUESDAY: This is Freethinker's Day. (Web site: truthseeker.com)

It's also National Puzzle Day.

And today is Up Helly AA at Scotland's Shetland Islands. It's an old Viking tradition marking the end of Yule.

WEDNESDAY: This is National Inane Answering Message Day. (Web site: wellcat.com)

And Jordan celebrates the King's Birthday today. Abdullah II was born on this date in 1962.

THURSDAY: It's Inspire Your Heart With Art Day. (Web site: earthangel4peace.com)

And today is a national holiday in Nauru, celebrating its independence in 1968 from a UN trusteeship administered by Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

FRIDAY: Today being Feb. 1, this marks the beginning of AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month, American Heart Month (by presidential proclamation), February Is Berry Fresh In The Sunshine State, International Boost Self-Esteem Month, International Expect Success Month, Library Lovers' Month, Marfan Syndrome Awareness Month, National African American History Month (by presidential proclamation), National Bird Feeding Month, National Cherry Month, National Children's Dental Health Month, National Sign Up For Summer Camp Month, National Weddings Month, North Carolina Sweetpotato Month, Plant the Seeds of Greatness Month, Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month, Spiritual Teachers Month and Wise Health Consumer Month.

This is National Freedom Day, by presidential proclamation. It was on this date in 1865 that President Lincoln approved the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery.

Today is Robinson Crusoe Day, commemorating the anniversary of the rescue, in 1709, of Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk who, five years earlier, had been stranded at his own request on a desert island following a quarrel with his captain. His adventures became the basis for Daniel Defoe's novel "Robinson Crusoe."

And it's Women's Heart Health Day.

(Thanks to Chase's 2002 Calendar of Events)


BY THE WAY...

Who led the 1871 African expedition to find missing missionary-explorer David Livingstone?

Henry M. Stanley, born on this date in 1841.

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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