Switzerland: the home of precision timepieces and railroad trains. But, as in most cases, it is the exception that proves the rule. Consider the case of the engineer we'll call him Hans on last Friday night's Bern-to-Fribourg run. As he reached the end of the line, Hans realized he'd neglected one intermediate stop ... and that the three angry passengers still aboard must have wanted to get off there. How to mollify them? Solution: offer a ride home in his own car. "He made a mistake and he made amends," a spokes-man for the system said.
"It's nice to be alive again," said retired Croatian immigrant Vjekoslava Smajic. This, after a health insurer in her adopted Germany confused her with another Smajic who'd died. Word spread via computer records to her bank and the agency that issues her pension checks. Both canceled her accounts. It took two months of pleading, plus a certificate signed by the mayor of her town, to convince everyone she's not deceased.
Thousands of Elvis Presley fans have flocked to Graceland, his former mansion in Memphis, Tenn., this week to mark the 25th anniversary of his death. "The King's" posthumous popularity put him and not for the first time atop a list of the wealthiest deceased celebrities, as compiled by Forbes magazine on the basis of licensing agreements and/or sales of their writings, recordings, or other intellectual property. The magazine's top 10, with estimated earnings of their estates in the 12 months before June of this year (in millions):
1. Elvis Presley $37
2. Charles Schulz 28
3. John Lennon 20 (tie) Dale Earnhardt 20
5. Theodor (Dr. Seuss) Geisel 19
6. George Harrison 17
7. J.R.R. Tolkien 12
8. Bob Marley 10
9. Jimi Hendrix 8
10. Tupac Shakur 7 (tie) Marilyn Monroe 7