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It seems to us . . . Donors rescue children's Christmas while Americans watch TV and get fat

CHRISTMAS SAVINGS: It happens every year. Some Grinch steals a delivery of presents, leaving dozens of children with the prospect of nothing to open. Fortunately, the response is always the same, as well -- as it was this week in Western New York: Good-hearted residents came to the rescue, donating more gifts than the blackheart stole. Students at Sacred Heart Elementary School in Bowmansville not only had packages to tear into, but a lesson in the meaning of Christmas.


SUPER-SIZED: If word isn't already out, Americans are a bunch of fat, happy, TV-watching, Internet-surfing zombies. Well, maybe the happy part is going too far. Really, according to the Census Bureau's 2007 Statistical Abstract of the United States, Americans are the fattest inhabitants of the planet, with Mexicans, Australians, Greeks, New Zealanders and Britons trailing not far behind. No pun intended.

The abstract contains interesting factoids that include everything from the amount of bottled water we drank (more than 23 gallons per person in 2004) to the time and attention spent watching TV and surfing the Net. Adolescents and adults spend, on average, more than 64 days a year watching television, 41 days listening to the radio and a little over a week using the Internet. That's a lot of time, but fortunately, they've got enough water to drink while they're doing it.


MILITARY MADNESS: Scottish soldiers are facing a cultural crisis: a shortage of ceremonial kilts. Defense officials failed to buy enough of the traditional Scottish garb, meaning that more than 5,000 soldiers have to share their kilts, which haven't been worn in combat since World War I.
It could be worse for the troops, who are posted in Afghanistan and Iraq. Their American counterparts don't have enough armor.

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