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Watercooler Stories

By ALEX CUKAN, United Press International   |   Feb. 17, 2004 at 7:29 AM
COUPLES BET ON WHETHER THEY FIB

"Truth? or Fib?" is a game getting its start at the annual Toy Fair in New York City. It helps couples get to know each other better.

Players draw from 600 question cards that prompt each other to answer questions -- some fact and some fiction.

Players build scores by betting on whether they think their opponents are telling the truth or a fib.

"Men like to be competitive and women like to have deep conversations," says Allen Wolf, a filmmaker who created the game for a friend and his girlfriend. "This game lets them both have what they want."

The game will appear in the upcoming independent movie "In My Sleep," directed by Wolf with Stephen Baldwin.


GORILLAS TO WATCH TV IN ZOO

Two gorillas in the Moscow zoo will soon get television sets installed in their winter home, according to zoo director Vladimir Spitsyn.

The gorillas will be watching videos about the life of monkeys in the wilderness to improve their psychological condition, Pravda reports.

"We want them to pick their noses less and think more instead," says Spitsyn.

The coach potato primates also will get a TV for their summer home when the animals spend more time outdoors.


'DO NOT CALL REGISTRY' WORKING

The Federal Trade Commission's national Do Not Call Registry is known by 91 percent of Americans and 57 percent have registered.

It appears to be working -- 90 percent of those registered say they are getting fewer telemarketing calls.

Twenty-five percent say they received no telemarketing calls since registering, while 53 percent are receiving fewer calls, according to a nationwide Harris Poll of more than 3,300 U.S. adults conducted online by Harris Interactive.

"These results are remarkable. It is rare to find so many people benefit so quickly from a relatively inexpensive government program," says Humphrey Taylor, chairman of The Harris Poll, Harris Interactive.


FRANCE TOPS ELDERLY SUICIDE RATE

After tens of thousands of elderly people died last summer in France while many relatives were on vacation, the French government says it is cracking down on families.

The Civil Code is to be amended making it a crime for descendants of people living alone to "fail to keep themselves regularly informed" of their state of health, the Daily Telegraph reports.

It will also be a crime not to intervene should they suddenly be taken ill.

Already shamed by the high mortally rate during the summer heat wave, France was further shamed when it was learned that elderly people left to fend for themselves are committing suicide at a rate of 62 a week -- the highest in Europe.

© 2004 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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