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Make it premium, please

In the wake of hurricane Katrina, as the retail price of unleaded regular gasoline across the US headed toward $4 a gallon, some stations were still dispensing it at a low, low $2.99. No, they weren't engaging in a price war . Most of them were in rural Vermont. About 200 retailers there are equipped with (well, relatively speaking) antique pumps whose left-hand dials stop at 2. Said one, Bill MacDonald of Waits River General Store: "I knew my pump was old, but I didn't expect prices to rise this fast." He kept selling until his supply ran out . Ultimately, state authorities stepped in and decreed that such dealers should tape over the pricing dials, advertise what they were charging on handmade signs out by the road, and compute each customer's bill once his or her tank was full.

'One giant leap' astronaut has left indelible imprint

Since he first set foot on the moon in 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong has kept a low profile. He went on to teach aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati and was the chairman of an electronics and avionics company until retiring several years ago. Most recently, he co-chaired the presidential commission that investigated the Challenger disaster. Despite Armstrong's efforts to avoid the limelight, the editors of the 2005 World Almanac and Book of Facts say they think that 50 years from now he'll be remembered as the most famous person who was not a US president. Their top 10 picks:

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1. Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon
2. Bill Gates, software pioneer
3. Osama bin Laden, Muslim terrorist leader
4. Nelson Mandela, black South African leader
5. Mikhail Gorbachev, former Soviet president
6. Saddam Hussein, former Iraqi dictator
7. James Watson, DNA pioneer
8. J.K. Rowling, author of the "Harry Potter" books
9. Paul McCartney of the Beatles
10. Pope John Paul II


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