The 411: Whats hot and whats not

By: DataFeatures Published:

Young Peoples Press

Scripps Howard News Service

BANISHED BUZZ WORDS

Is there a word or catch phrase that makes you cringe every time you hear it? Instead of gnashing your teeth and doing irreversible damage to your bicuspids, why not submit the word for banishment? Log onto www.lssu.edu/banished, a Web site that lists the years most deplored figures of speech. Maintained by Lake Superior State University, the site encourages people to submit entries with a brief explanation of why the word really gets your goat. If enough people send in the same complaint, the word makes it to the annual List of Banished Words. Not surprisingly, some of the most loathed buzzwords on the 2003 list come directly from George Dubya Bushs speeches. Watch out for now, more than ever, weapons of mass destruction, and make no mistake about it. Honorable mentions go to peel and eat shrimp, must-see TV, and untimely death.

INSTANT ALANIS

Quite arguably one of the best gag sites on the net, the Alanis Morissette Lyric Generator shows you how to write your very own wordy and angst-ridden lyrics just like Alanis. Why spend hours toiling over your diary trying to articulate the exquisite torture of youth? All you have to do is type the name of an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, your favorite color and six adjectives for something you hate into the generator, and whammo youve got solid gold lyrics with Grammy written all over them. Give it a try at: brunching.com/alanislyrics.html.

UNDERSTANDING CLIMATE CHANGE

Everything you ever wanted to know about greenhouse gas emissions and the Kyoto Protocol is jam packed into one handy little Web site called myKyoto.ca. This comprehensive site provides an easy to understand scientific breakdown of climate change. And while the focus is on how it affects Canada, there is lots of info for all youth who want to learn how they can help reduce emissions. There arent many teenagers who have to worry about their gas-guzzlin SUVs, but there are still lots of everyday things that can be done, such as switching regular light bulbs to fluorescents, taking shorter showers, and remembering to turn off lights and computers when leaving the house. Log on to: www.myKyoto.ca.

SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT

Jill Sprechers indie film, Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, is quite possibly one of 2002s best. It gracefully lacks explosions, nudity, or overwrought attempts at depth. This simple film is a series of intertwined vignettes that tell the stories of several unrelated people among them a maid, an attorney, and a cheating husband. The characters are all unconsciously searching for happiness and struggling to overcome the obstacles of envy, boredom and guilt along the way. Driven mainly by dialogue and brilliantly subdued acting, this movie is a must-rent from your local video store.

WRITING AGAINST BULLYING

Calling all girls with a flair for writing and a bullied past: Rachel Simmons needs your help. Simmons wrote Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls, and her newest book will be a compilation of memoirs from girls who have seen or experienced the effects of bullying. Bullying can be tough, so vent your anger and hurt while getting a chance to be published. Plus, your story could touch the lives of other girls in similar situations. Visit www.rachelsimmons.com to submit your stories.

DIDJA KNOW?

Poindexter is an epithet used to describe someone who is very smart. It finds its origin in the old Felix the Cat TV series, which was immensely popular in the late 1950s. Felixs archenemies were The Professor and his intelligent nephew, Poindexter.

QUOTABLE

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live. Flora Whittemore

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