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SO STOP BY SOMETIME

Heard the absence-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder tale about Ian Johnstone and Amy Dolby? Independently, the British pair - who admit they tend to act impulsively - decided it was time they saw each other again since their last get-together had been months ago. So he showed up unannounced at her Yorkshire apartment with an engagement ring to propose marriage. Alas, no one was home. She'd gone to his apartment to pay a surprise visit. That's actually a big deal because Johnstone is spending a year in Sydney, Australia.

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CAN YOU SPEAK MORE CLEARLY?

"He was a bit depressed when we took it away," Gary Gilmour said. Who was? The prankster who placed call after call to Blair Drummond Safari Park in North Stirling, Scotland, where Gilmour works, making shrieking noises when they were answered. The culprit: a resident chimpanzee who'd stolen the cellphone out of Gilmour's pocket when he wasn't looking and figured out how to activate the numbers stored in its memory - until he was caught.

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Queens County, N.Y. - no other is more diverse: study

Of counties with populations of 100,000 or more, California and New York have the US's most ethnically diverse, according to a study by Claritas Inc., a San Diego market researcher. Using 2000 census data, it ranked diversity in all counties according to the probability that any two randomly selected people would be of different racial origins. The study found nine counties in California were among the 20 most diverse, followed by New York with four. The top 10 and their diversity scores:

1. Queens, N.Y. 73.6

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2. Alameda, Calif. (Oakland) 70.7

3. Kings, N.Y. (Brooklyn) 69.7

4. Robeson, N.C. 69.0

5. Fort Bend, Texas (suburban Houston) 68.1

6. Hudson, N.J. 67.6

7. New York, N.Y. 67.1

8. Harris, Texas (Houston) 67.

9. Los Angeles 67.0

10. Dallas 66.5

-Business Wire

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor