The New Sun Newspaper

Murder is down, except on television news. Despite a 20% dive in the American murder rate (and 25% fewer in New York City), nightly newscast murder coverage is up 700%. These statistics come from the Center for Media and Public Affairs in Washington, D.C.

The center's president, Robert Lichter, says, "The big surprise is how dramatically crime news jumped at a time when real-life crime was falling. The news is creating a new reality. The public has become scared to death."

Why are movies so expensive to make? Some sample
costs involved in a film with a budget of $75-million:

Book rights: $750,000
Two screenwriters: $750,000 each
Head accountant: $96,000
Key hairstylist: $70,000
Plant person: $75,000
Extras: $52 - $97 per day
Snacks: $200,000 total

Lifeguard Rick Shalvoy rowed his 19-foot fiberglass surfboat 240 miles around Long Island, New York to raise money for breast cancer research. The 44-year-old conquered storms, exhaustion and dehydration -- and said he plans to repeat his course every year until researchers find a cure.

An "old friend" of France, Jeanne Calment, died recently at age 122. She was thought to be the world's oldest person. She met Vincent Van Gough when she was 13 and released her own CD on her 121st birthday. Often asked for the secret of her longevity, she felt her greatest asset was her sense of humor. "I've only ever had one wrinkle and I'm sitting on it," she once remarked. "I will die laughing."