The military might on parade in the streets of Madrid Oct. 12, Spain's National Day, included a prize new Leopard 2E tank painted in camouflage colors. It was one of 219 that will add muscle to the armed forces, with state-of-the-art systems, ease of handling, and impressive range. It was not, however, Spain's. In fact, the tank was a loaner. It had to be flown in for the occasion from a trade show in Greece, where its German builder had been displaying it for prospective customers. All that shipping, plus the insurance, cost the government $110,000. It will be another year yet until the first of Spain's new Leopards is delivered.
Speaking of Europeans and money, a homeless man in Siegen, Germany, hit the jackpot while looking for discarded food in a bus-stop trash can. No morsels, but he did find a savings account passbook, the holder's identification cards, and $12,000 in cash. You might think he'd head straight for the nearest restaurant. But he turned it all over to police, who located the rightful owner. Yes, there will be a reward.
Results of a new study show that urban sprawl is most prevalent in what used to be called the Sun Belt. The advocacy group Smart Growth America rated 83 areas on residential density, home-to-business mix, vitality of town centers, and street networks. Smart Growth's top 10 sprawl hubs:
1. Riverside/San Bernardino, Calif.
2. Greensboro/Winston-Salem/ High Point, N.C.
3. Raleigh/Durham, N.C.
5. Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C.
6. West Palm Beach/Boca Raton/Delray Beach, Fla.
7. Bridgeport/Stamford/ Norwalk/Danbury, Conn.
8. Knoxville, Tenn.
9. Oxnard/Ventura, Calif.
10. Fort Worth/Arlington, Texas