Prized Rubbish

In another example of one person's trash being another person's treasure, Japanese artist Tomoko Takahashi is a finalist for Britain's prestigious Turner Prize, awarded to artists under 50 years old who live and work in Britain and have had an exhibit in 2000. Takahashi, 34, creates sculptures using everyday objects such as scraps of paper, lamps and electric fans.

A publication of the Japanese embassy in Britain describes Takahashi's found materials as "organized into fields which range across the floors and walls of an exhibition space ... creating an environment that is simultaneously chaotic and ordered." A finalist last year, Tracy Emin, created another rubbish exhibit - an unmade bed strewn with champagne corks, used condoms and soiled underwear. The winner of this year's prize, which is more than $30,000, will be announced in November. Junk shop owners and teenagers with messy rooms need not apply.

Man Compactor A Nebraska man sleeping in a local dumpster was mistaken for garbage and compacted along with the trash. The driver emptied the dumpster into his truck early on a Monday morning, unaware that anything was amiss. Several stops and loads of trash later, the truck driver finally heard the man's calls for help. By then, according to the Omaha, Neb., fire department spokesman, the man had been compacted "two or three times."

It took about an hour for firefighters to dig him out of the tightly compressed garbage packed in the truck's hopper. At press time, the man was hospitalized with fractures but was expected to recover fully - and avoid dumpsters on trash pickup day.