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WHERE THE BOYS ARE They come from all over, lured by good jobs in the high-tech industry. They're well-educated, well-paid, and - well - out of all proportion to the opposite sex. They're the men of Silicon Valley, who, a new report says, outnumber the unattached females in California's Santa Clara County by 5,400. Compare that to frigid-in-winter Anchorage, Alaska, for example, which has a mere 3,300 more eligible bachelors than single women. Nor are these guys "your beer-guzzling variety," the report adds. The problem: Most of their time is spent at work.

WEATHER PERMITTING, THAT IS If you live along the Eastern seaboard and the night sky suggests that somebody is rushing it with the Fourth of July fireworks, the US space agency wants to ease your concern. At intervals, beginning tomorrow, NASA plans to launch research rockets from its Wallops Island, Va., site that will release large, glowing chemical clouds in space. They'll be visible for hundreds of miles but will not have accompanying band music.

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Bank is rated top company for minorities in the US For the second straight year, Fortune magazine has rated what it calls the "50 Best Companies for Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics." Using such criteria as the services offered to minorities, trade with minority vendors, and the percentage of minority managers on the payroll, Fortune's editors put San Jose-based Union Bank of California atop the list. The top 10, from the magazine's July 19 issue:

1. Union Bank of California

2. Fannie Mae Corp.

3. Public Service Co. of New Mexico

4. Sempra Energy, San Diego

5. Toyota Motor Sales

6. Advantica Restaurant Group (parent company of Denny's)

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7. SBC Communications, San Antonio, Texas

8. Lucent Technologies

9. Darden Restaurants (parent company of Red Lobster)

10. Wal-Mart - Business Wire

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