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MOVIES: Opening Dec. 10, "Ocean's Twelve"; Dec. 17, "Lemony Snicket Unfortunate Events" (PG, Jim Carrey as evil Count Olaf) and "The Aviator" (PG-13, Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes); Dec. 22, "Phantom of the Opera" (PG-13) and "Meet the Fockers" (PG-13).

NEW ON VIDEO/DVD: Arrived "Spider-Man 2," "Hero" and "Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius" (golf movie starring Jim Caviezel); coming Tuesday, "The Bourne Supremacy" and "Dodgeball"; Dec. 14, "I Robot," "Princess Diaries 2" (boxed set) and extended version DVD of "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King."

THEATER: Dec. 3-19, "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," Theatre of Youth; Jan. 4-9, "The Producers," Shea's; Feb. 24-April 3, "Disney's the Lion King" at Shea's.

CONCERTS: Dec. 17, Kissmas Bash, HSBC Arena.

On TV: Nickelodeon airs a Nick News Special Edition: "Living with AIDS: A Story of Three Kids" at 8:30 p.m. tonight.


This party-season accessory may well be the talk of the party.

Fuze necklaces offer the unique combination of the old with the new. The necklace itself is a polished piece of rose quartz, a semi-precious stone, which hangs from a stainless steel cord. Fuze got the bright idea to stick LED lights inside the stone. Close the latch -- which holds two watch batteries -- and the necklace changes color, slowly cycling through the rainbow. The interior light shows off the natural impurities of each stone, which can be quite beautiful.

Some believe rose quartz has healing and restorative powers. If you don't buy that idea, you can just enjoy the pretty colors and natural beauty of the stone.

Find Fuze necklaces at for $34.95.


What would you do if a talking muffin approached you and demanded that you eat it?

Such out-of-this-world muffin encounters are what give the Muffin Films of their perennial appeal. Anyone with Macromedia Flash and a couple minutes to spare can have a chuckle at a muffin-tin full of animated cartoons. The 12 shorts, most less than a minute long, spoof a variety of genres, including camp-esque ghost stories, artsy French films and Broadway-style musicals.

The films are the work of grad student Amy Winfrey, who made the Muffin Films project her Master of Fine Arts thesis at the University of California, Los Angeles animation workshop. Now her project has become a cult favorite, quoted in instant messenger profiles across the land. lets muffin devotees buy Muffin Films T-shirts or prints. Fans can also sign the guest book.

Despite lotion application after lotion application, dry skin just can seem to escape us. Hill Dermaceuticals may just have the answer: a lightweight oil that helps skin stay moisturized.

Hill Moisture Riser is made with a refined peanut oil, which the company says has the right molecular structure and weight to penetrate the skin's surface. They must know what they're talking about because the result is super-soft skin with no oily residue. It worked like a charm on our very dry hands. To use the product, first dampen your skin with water, then rub in the oil. To order Hill Moisture Riser (6 ounces, $19.75), call toll-free (888) 445-5468.

"I can no longer go to Wet Seal. Too many people recognize me. I'm missing all the good sales."

-- Actor Adam Brody ("The O.C."), joking about his sudden popularity, in People.

-- Knight Ridder Newspapers