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HYPE

STRIKE OUT

Bowling bags have been usurped by fashion designers who have never even rolled a gutter ball. Handbag maven Kate Spade is among several designers who have slimmed down the bowling bag and done it in vinyl, suede and leopard prints. Spade's bags are probably way out of your reach, but you can find them on the cheap; a vinyl version costs $15 and has enough room for your school supplies and makeup -- available at malls and department stores.

IT'S A HOME RUN!

Electronic Arts has done it again. It has brought out a unique baseball game that threatens the run of Sony's "MLB Pennant Race" and Konami's "Bottom of the Ninth."

"Triple Play '97" resembles "Ken Griffey's Winning Run" on the Super Nintendo more than anything else. The style of the graphics, the view and the game control make it almost identical.

"Triple Play" has licenses from both Major League Baseball and the players' association, so the stadium players are all there. "TP's" virtual stadium technology is virtually awesome. You swoop down from the sky and enter the stadium. Stunning.

This is a good game for first-time baseball players but it lacks the visuals of other baseball games. "Triple Play '97" (about $45) is available on the PlayStation and Saturn.

[[ NAILING THINGS DOWN

What could be more convenient than having your nail polish handy? When you need to fix those pesky chips, you'll have it right at hand with a nail polish key chain. It comes with two cool colors, and you can add your own favorites. This way-cool item will make you stand out in the crowd. Nail polish key chain, $8.50 from Wet Seal, is available at many mall stores. ]]

QUICK WORDS

"Home Alone III," without Macaulay Culkin, is set to begin work in December; Variety magazine says a search will be made to find a new young star. His co-stars in the first two movies -- Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O'Hara and John Heard also reportedly won't appear in the new film. ... Those wacky lovebirds Jim Carrey and Lauren Holly finally got married. ... Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, who has the genetic blood disorder sickle cell anemia, has become spokeswoman for the Sickle Cell Foundation. The TLC singer has pledged to call attention to the disease and raise money for research to fight it. Her first duty: being the host and star of a fund-raiser for the cause Oct. 10 in Miami.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Whenever I'd get upset about something, I would take my aggression out on my piano."

-- Singer Finoa Apple, on her style.
-- Knight-Ridder

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