Watercooler Stories

By DENNIS DAILY, United Press International  |  Dec. 12, 2001 at 12:15 AM
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For a long time, news providers such as CNN wrote off younger viewers, assuming they would rather watch MTV or some other outlet rather than immerse themselves in the real world. Well, according to the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, in the weeks immediately after the terror attacks, CNN's median viewer age dropped dramatically. No longer was the major part of the viewership members of "the AARP set." As a matter of fact, CNN began attracting more of the under-35 market than did the video channels.

New numbers show that most of the kids who stumbled upon CNN and stayed for a while are back watching non-reality programming again. However, both CNN and Fox have kept some of their new converts. The publication says that while neither network got geared up fast enough to take advantage of the flood of young viewers by making the programming more attractive to them, many are at least checking in with the news nets more often as a result of the "need to know" generated by the events of 9/11.


Officials of the state of Nevada are continuing their legal action against a federal plan to use a site at Yucca Mountain as a massive nuclear dumping ground. The Review-Journal is reporting that a lawsuit filed against the Department of Energy claims the agency is ignoring Congressional orders that the natural texture of the site be protected from possible atomic contamination.

The governor of Nevada, Kenny Guinn -- although a Republican and critical of the Bush administration's plans -- recently told the media that the feds are trying to turn the pristine mountain region into a "waste dump."

Under the plan, nuclear waste from nuclear plants in more than 30 states could be carried across country in trucks and trains to Nevada. The planned site is due to open in about nine years.


When the calendar rolls over to 2002, young drivers in Georgia will find themselves under a new set of legislative-ordered mandates. Officials have asked disk jockeys at all kinds of stations to spread the message, starting next Monday.

Meanwhile, the state's Web site says that for 16- and 17-year-old students, in order to get a driver license, a parent or guardian must sign a sworn statement that he or she has spent at least 40 hours with the teen as driver -- at least six hours at night.

Furthermore, starting Jan. 1, 16-year-olds will be allowed initially only to have passengers with them who are members of the immediate family. Teens in that age group will not be allowed to drive between midnight and six in the morning ... no exceptions.

The points system for automatic license revocation also is being tightened.


The dog may be "man's best friend," but not all breeds are suited for all people and all situations. So, which is best for you or your family? In the latest edition of Modern Maturity magazine, editors look at a variety of types and breeds available in this country, rating each. Much of the emphasis for MM readers, of course, is the search for a companion for older couples or singles. Noting that having a clean dog is an asset for many in that age group who don't have the mobility to constantly clean up after a pet, the publication suggests getting a Bichon Frise, which it nicknames "Mr. Clean." The Golden Retriever gets the magazine's imprimatur for the best companion animal.

People who spend a lot of time boating will love the Portuguese Water Dog. After all, they don't call it that for nothing. Seniors who are on the road in a confined motor home will fare best if they get a simple Pug, ideally suited for cramped quarters.

The best simple, loving, lap dog in the bunch? The "aristocratic" Papillon.

The new issue of MM has just hit mailboxes. Those lucky enough might find that Rover has already brought it inside.

Topics: Bichon Frise
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