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Naomi Wolf, who launched a million interesting conversations 20 years ago with her thought-provoking best-seller "The Beauty Myth," has ventured boldly into delicate ground with "Vagina: A New Biography." In this exhaustively researched, if somewhat anecdotally written, readable and interesting book, Wolf paints a distressing picture of modern women, who suffer from not on…

Lifestyles

Chalk up another triumph for Title IX, further proof that female athletes have come a long way the past few decades. It's called "Solo," a tell-all memoir from star U.S. soccer goalie and recent Olympic hero Hope Solo.Solo isn't dissing male chauvinists (except perhaps for one coach) or top sports moguls for making life difficult for top-shelf female athletes. No, she's ta…

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Dennis Wisniewski, 52, studied architecture at Cornell University before becoming a framing czar. The owner of Avenue Art & Frame, he and his small staff handle a variety of art - from the truly bizarre to the wonderfully precious. Art intrigues this quiet man who donates his time and talent to a variety of causes in the Buffalo community. People who bring their treasures …

Q: I've been with my boyfriend for 2½ years. He's great in many ways - cute, funny, good to my kids, hardworking. Our chemistry is off the charts. However, one thing continues to bring me down. He feels the need to share SO much (everything ... even sexual escapades in a campground) about his past loves. If we go somewhere new to us, he wants to tell me all about his las…

Don Philip was nervous. Close to terrified, in fact.Ten years ago, he'd actually performed a duet with much-hyped new "X-Factor" judge Britney Spears. Now here he was on Simon Cowell's apres-"Idol" Fox show to see her again and to sing for her.Implicit in his nervousness was a very hard decade since they last met. No details were provided, but anyone with even minimal expe…

Evergreens are the shrubs and trees that stay green all winter. Some people call them "pine trees," but only a few of them are actually pines. Some call them "Christmas trees," but that can mean many kinds of evergreens. And some call them "green bushes for around the foundation." So let's start with the real terminology: Woody plants (trees and shrubs) are either "deciduo…

Don't pack away your walking shoes and idea notebooks yet. After a summer season filled with garden tours throughout the region, we find that other tours and events for home and garden lovers are in the works.For starters, the popular Secrets of Allentown tour will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. This is your chance to peek inside five private homes and three b…

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No matter how much you love summer, it is hard to resist fall's rich colors and nature-inspired decor. This season, textiles are chunkier, patterns and colors are bolder, and wildlife has found a home on everything from dessert plates to wall art. And there is plenty of shine. Metallics and glass - often colored - are two trends to watch for. You'll see lamps with jewel-to…

Lifestyles

WASHINGTON - Actor Dustin Hoffman, whose career has included some of the most memorable roles in film history, and bluesman George "Buddy" Guy, who began playing "before the guitar was electrified" and picked his way to worldwide legendary status, are among the seven artists to receive this year's Kennedy Center Honors.The 35th anniversary honorees announced Wednesday also…

Jim Santella, a Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Fame inductee, is retiring from his Saturday night blues show on WBFO-FM 88.7. He talked about his decision with his audience this past weekend. Santella's final blues show will air at 7 p.m. Dec. 1. Santella began hosting the show on Nov. 22, 1997. Known as the "Father of Progressive Radio" in Buffalo, Santella began his radio …

She was called "The Perky One" by the veep candidate whose political career she turned to mulch.If "perk" is what you find in bulldozers on construction sites and tanks on the battlefield, then, yeah, Sarah Palin was right to call Katie Couric perky.Otherwise, Katie Couric, on her new daytime talk show Monday afternoon (Ch. 7, 4 p.m.) was a woman on a mission, and Lord hel…

Lifestyles

A New York State grant program for small arts organizations that has been in disarray for the past several years is getting back on track with help from a newly formed local arts agency. The New York State Council on the Arts' decentralization grant program, which hands out small grants to individual artists, educational groups and community arts projects in urban and rura…

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Kim Murrell had already earned a business degree from James Madison University and started her first post-college job when she decided what she wanted to do with her life. Unfulfilled at work, Murrell thought about where she found satisfaction and decided it was in the kitchen. Specifically, figuring out what to cook to reach her best shape as she tackled training for runn…

It's time to hear from the readers. Here's Jan, who has a question: "Hi Janice, "My husband and I have enjoyed your columns over the years. We recently traveled in Austria and the Czech Republic and had some wonderful food. One thing that stood out was how piping hot the food was when delivered to the table. It seemed to stay hotter longer, too! Were we imagining this? We…

Lifestyles

"Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical," opening Friday at Theatre of Youth, features a song, "Aggle Flaggle Klabble," sung entirely in nonsense words by a toddler screaming about a beloved stuffed bunny left behind in a commercial washing machine. The toddler's name is Trixie, and Knuffle Bunny's mastermind is the real Trixie's dad, Mo Willems, who has been delighting child…