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IT WAS FUN TO WATCH, REALLY

"I'm not upset about it at all. In fact, I thought it was a superb display," said Christine Maltin. What was? Why, the heavy wooden ball that scored a direct hit on her Woodchester, England, house, smashing through the roof and landing in the attic. She even saw it coming - from a nearby field where a catapult was being used to help reenact Roman-era warfare for a fundraiser. As for the folks who launched the errant missile, a spokesman said: "The Romans would have used stone balls. Thankfully, we use wooden ones, which is probably just as well."

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PASS ZE GREY POUPON

Allowing for regional differences, the French government is planning a 660-mile-long outdoor picnic on Bastille Day, July 14. The feast, which is expected to attract 4 million hungry people from 337 towns - and cost more than $7 million - is to stretch through the heart of Paris along a line from Dunkirk on the north, near the border with Belgium, to the Spanish border.

Gender-bending comedies top list of funniest movies

Two years after its list of the greatest films of the 20th century stirred controversy, the American Film Institute has released its ranking of the funniest of all time. A jury of 1,800 expert panelists made the selections from among 500 nominations. The top two films (and four overall) feature cross-dressing. Cary Grant was the most- represented performer and Woody Allen the leading director with eight and five films, respectively. The top 10 comedies from AFI's list, with their years of release:

1. "Some Like It Hot" 1959

2. "Tootsie" 1982

3. Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worry and Love the Bomb" 1964

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4. "Annie Hall" 1977

5. "Duck Soup" 1933

6. "Blazing Saddles" 1974

7. "M*A*S*H" 1970

8. "It Happened One Night" 1934

9. "The Graduate" 1967

10. "Airplane!" 1980

- Reuters

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society