Watercooler Stories

By ALEX CUKAN, United Press International  |  Feb. 10, 2004 at 6:07 AM
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Forty-six percent of U.S. men want chocolate as a gift for Valentine's Day followed by 23 percent who want beer, according to a RoperASW survey.

Brewer Samuel Adams teamed up with Scharffen Berger Chocolate to create a new limited edition beer -- 50,000 bottles of Chocolate Bock -- just for Valentine's Day.

"Beer and chocolate are two pleasures that should be enjoyed and savored," says Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Samuel Adams.

"We knew that we were up to the challenge to create an unexpected brew that could perfectly complement a Valentine's Day meal or be given as a special gift."


A Harris Interactive poll in the United States and the United Kingdom finds the level of anxiety about terrorist attacks is similar.

Twelve percent of the British and 9 percent of those in the United States "often" worry about a terrorist attack.

Large numbers in both countries don't worry much or at all about terrorism -- 45 percent in the U.S. and 41 percent in Britain.

Large majorities in both countries say they are not changing their travel plans or avoiding major sporting events because of a terrorist threat.


British teenagers are pretty well off, more than 84 percent of those age 16 have their own cell phone, stereo and television set.

A study by the Royal Bank of Scotland, however, finds although British teens collectively are worth $4 billion they lack a basic understanding of personal finance.

The study says Britain teens each year have $480 million in overall pocket money, earn $1.3 billion from part- and full-time work and yet save only about $548 each, the Guardian reports.

The average teenager scored just four out of 10 on a personal finance test and about half don't feel confident writing a check.


The number of U.S. passenger cars scrapped in 2003 was down more than 6 percent while light trucks experienced an almost 13 percent decrease.

"Cars and light trucks are becoming more durable," says Mike Gingell, vice president of Polk's aftermarket team.

People are driving their cars longer -- the median car age was 8.6 years in 2003 -- 2.4 percent higher than in 2002.

Additionally, passenger cars are now less than half of new light vehicle sales and new car registrations are down notably from their peak in 2000, according to Polk.

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