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HYPE

WHAT'S HAPPENING
Movies: Opening Friday, "Chain of Fools" (comedy-drama starring Steve Zahn, Jeff Goldblum), "Beautiful" (Minnie Driver), "Urban Legends: Final Cut" (thriller, in which student filmmakers keep losing crew members) and "The Exorcist" (re-release of 1973 horror classic with extra 10 minutes of footage).

Out on video: "Ready to Rumble" (David Arquette as a fan of wrestler Oliver Platt)

Other: Sept. 27, Weird Al Yankovic, St. Bonaventure University

THE WEB DOWN UNDER
The e eyes of the world are on Australia, host country for the Olympic Games. Curious about the land Down Under? These Web sites will give you a glimpse into the life and culture of the world's only country-continent.

At Virtual Australia (http://www.virtualaustralia.com/) you can tour the country on your desktop computer. The live radio page has feeds to several online Australian radio stations. (The live radio feeds require either Windows Media Player or Real Player. For a free download of Windows Media Player, go to http://microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/Line is overdrawn en/download/default.asp. To download Real Player, also for free, go to http://www.real.com/.)

To learn about Australia's indigenous peoples, the Aborigines, explore the Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre (http://aboriginalart.com.au/). The site will introduce you to the concept of Dreamtime, the belief system that is the foundation of aboriginal culture. You also can read instructions for playing the didgeridoo, an ancient aboriginal instrument.

ROBO-FIGHTER IS SUPER SHARP
Is there a Dreamcast game that doesn't look great? Activision's "Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram" is an arcade fighting game that looks so sharp it's scary.

You choose one of 12 super robots and basically go at it. The two-player battles are cool, but this is one game that I like facing the computer alone. You fight to survive against super techno-droids intent on taking you out. The sounds, the explosions, the colors and the magnitude of this game draw you in. STRAPPY STUFF
Girls rejoice! Until now, visible bra straps were unsightly. But designer Amanda Rae has made them fashion accessories with BraGems. These adjustable bra straps come in clear, beaded, fringed, sparkly and metallic patterns. They're meant to be seen, and are perfect to wear with today's spaghetti-strap styles.

BraGems fasten to the tabs on any strapless bra and range from $5 to $46. For more information or to order, check out www.BraGems.com.

OFF TO LOS ANGELES
How would you like to be whisked away to L.A. for a dreamy ball?

Come December, you and a friend could be off to the City of Angels for KIIS-FM's Jingle Ball, courtesy of the Girlfriends LA Web site and YM magazine.

This year's performers are a well-kept secret, but last year Christina Aguilera and Lou Bega stole the show.

You won't even have to worry about what to wear -- YM takes care of that by giving each winner an outfit. And not only do you get the tunes and fashions, but air fare and a two-night hotel stay are also included.

There are two ways to enter: Send a 3-by-5 postcard with your basic info (including your birth date) by Oct. 15 or fill out an online entry form at http://www.gfla.com/contests/yougogirl.htmLine is overdrawn l. If you opt for snail mail, send your postcard to Girlfriends LA-You Get to Go Girl! Giveaway, P.O. Box 803321, Santa Clarita, CA, 91380.

-- Katie Baynes
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Everyone understands the language of money. The show is simple to follow. I'm not so smart and I know many of the answers. Maybe I will be a millionaire."

-- Pushcart peddler Maqbool Ahmed, to the New York Times, about India's newest TV hit, "Who Will Become a Ten-Millionaire." The show is based on the game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

-- Knight Ridder

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