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Of Human Interest: News-lite

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International   |   March 13, 2002 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

IN YOUR DREAMS, GUYS

Is Britney Spears available? A Date.com poll finds dinner or a sports event top the list of men's dream first date with the pop princess.

And almost all would ask her back to their place -- whether or not the date went well or not.

With Spears maybe or maybe not on the outs with long-time beau Justin Timberlake (she says not), where would men take her on a date if they had the chance? Online dating Web site Date.com asked 18,421 men that question.

The most popular Britney date would be out to dinner -- selected by 45 percent of respondents. Another 21 percent said they would take her to a sporting event, 12 percent to a club, and 9 percent to a movie. Only 8 percent would take Britney to the place where she could best showcase her talent -- karaoke night. Four percent said they would take her to a concert and 1 percent said they would take her shopping.

When asked if they would invite the singer "back to your place" after the date, a whopping 88 percent of wishful thinkers said "yes, regardless of how the date went up to that point." A more practical 9 percent said they would invite her back "if the date went well up to that point," and a mere 3 percent said they wouldn't even give it a shot, saying they "would never ask on the first date."


BOB, BOB, BOBBLEHEADS

Post Cereals has caught Bobblehead fever. For the start of the 2002 baseball season, the company will place more than 16 million Major League Baseball player mini-bobblehead dolls inside specially marked packages of nine Post Cereal brands (Alpha Bits, Cocoa Pebbles, Fruity Pebbles, Golden Crisp, Honey Comb, Marshmallow Alpha Bits, Oreo O's, Post Premium Raisin Bran and Waffle Crisp).

The three-inch-tall bobblehead dolls will include Pedro Martinez of the Boston Red Sox; Luis Gonzalez, Arizona Diamondbacks; Jason Giambi and Bernie Williams, NY Yankees; Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves; Sammy Sosa, Chicago Cubs; Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners; Jeff Bagwell, Houston Astros; Alex Rodriguez, Texas Rangers; and Mike Piazza, NY Mets.

Bobblehead dolls -- which are known for their oversized heads that shake and nod -- have been around since the 1950s but have recently become trendy again.


ANIMAL STORY

The dodo bird was essentially an overgrown pigeon, genetic researchers say.

The dodo was a large, flightless bird native to an island east of Madagascar that became extinct as a result of the encroachment of humans and accompanying rats and pigs. In the March 1 issue of Science, Beth A. Shapiro, Alan Cooper and their colleagues at the University of Oxford and the Natural History Museum in London reported their comparison of genetic sequences from the dodo, its close relative the solitaire bird, and 37 other species of pigeons and doves. The study showed that the dodo and solitaire are not on the fringe of this group, but fall right in the middle of it genetically. The closest living relatives to the birds are the Nicobar pigeons of Southeast Asia, the crowned pigeons of New Guinea and the toothbilled pigeons of Samoa.

The solitaire and dodo probably separated from other pigeons about 42 million years ago, after they emigrated to the Mascarene Islands in the Indian Ocean. "In an island situation, the birds that put on the most mass, and eat the most, can dominate in terms of mating and territory," Cooper told the New York Times. But being big and flightless made it difficult for them to escape hungry humans.

(Thanks to Jim Kling, UPI Science Writer)


REASONS TO CELEBRATE TODAY:

WEDNESDAY: Today through April 15 is Deaf History Month. (Web site: LibraryDeaf.com)

This is Good Samaritan Involvement Day, observed on the anniversary of the 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese of New York City, whose neighbors witnessed the attack but refused to do anything.

And it's National Open An Umbrella Indoors Day.

(Thanks to Chase's 2002 Calendar of Events)


BY THE WAY...

Who is said to have brought books into the White House?

Abigail Fillmore, the first wife of President Millard Fillmore, reportedly turned a second floor room in the White House into a library. Fillmore, a former teacher, was born on this date in 1798.

© 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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