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HYPE

WHAT'S HAPPENING

MOVIES: Opening Friday, "Surviving Christmas" (PG-13, comedy-romance starring Ben Affleck and Christina Applegate).

NEW ON VIDEO/DVD: Arrived Tuesday, "A Cinderella Story," "Van Helsing" and "Garfield: The Movie"; coming Tuesday, "White Chicks"; Nov. 2, "Around the World in 80 Days"; Nov. 5, "Shrek 2"; Nov. 23, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban"; Dec. 7, "The Bourne Supremacy" and "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story"; Dec. 14, extended version DVD of "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King."

CONCERT: Oct. 30, Dead to Fall, Folly, Boss Tribal, The Code, Switch 86, Bloodjinn, Xtreme Wheels Skatepark, 356 Hertel Ave.

THEATER: Oct. 15-Nov. 7, "The Hobbit," Theatre of Youth; Oct. 22-24, "Stomp," Shea's; Jan. 4-9, "The Producers," Shea's; Feb. 24-April 3, "Disney's the Lion King" at Shea's.

Other: Through Oct. 31, FrightFest, weekends (6-10 p.m. Friday, 1-10 p.m. Saturday, 1-8 p.m. Sunday), Six Flags Darien Lake.

PRACTICE YOUR ESSAY!

Worried about the essay required on the new SAT? Well, here's your chance to write a practice SAT essay and have it scored for free. Simply log onto www.princetonreview.com/essay Thursday, Friday or Saturday (Oct. 21-23). You will have 25 minutes to type and submit your essay. You will get your score and detailed feedback from Princeton Review within 72 hours.

Here's the essay question:

Tyler Durden, protagonist of the movie "Fight Club," postulated, "The things you own end up owning you." Jennifer Lopez, on the other hand, espouses the theory "Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got /I'm still, I'm still Jenny from the block."

What is your view on whether your possessions define you? Plan an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reason and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations. And it's OK to talk about "Fight Club" ...just this once.

Web SITE: P.O.V. -- WHY VOTE

This election season, a lot of attention has been focused on getting people registered to vote. The PBS series "P.O.V." explores America's attitudes on the topic in its Web site, "Why Vote" (www.pbs.org/pov/pov2004/election/). With inspiring essays and speech excerpts, compelling man-on-the-street testimonials and a lively sampling of political cartoons, "Why Vote" offers many perspectives on the importance of democratic participation. The Web site's essay section features works by a diverse array of writers including suffragist Susan B. Anthony and civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The site's "What's Your P.O.V?" section has video testimonials from regular citizens who share their thoughts on voting and campaign issues. The site's section on political cartoons includes an animated Flash presentation by cartoonist Mark Fiore lampooning citizens who don't vote along with links to other political cartoons on the Internet.

Eric Goodwin, Knight Ridder Newspapers

BOOKLIST:

Looking for a good read? Check out one of the five books nominated for this year's National Book Award for Young People's Literature: Deb Caletti, "Honey, Baby, Sweetheart"; Pete Hautman, "Godless"; Laban Carrick Hill, "Harlem Stomp!: A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance"; Shelia P. Moses, "The Legend of Buddy Bush"; and Julie Anne Peters, "Luna: A Novel."

COMFY CLOTHING

Ladies, the boys have had their day with their tagless T-shirts. Now it's our turn: Barely There has come to rescue us from itchy, annoying bra tags.

Our question is: What took so long? Barely There (a Sara Lee company) has eliminated the tags of its Comfortable Curves line by printing the size, washing instructions and fabric content onto the bra itself, on the inside of the back band. We absolutely love that the bras are made of microfiber fabrics -- super soft. And, to help create a natural shape, the cups are made of thin, stretchy foam. You can get Barely There bras in six different styles for $30 or less at department stores everywhere and online. For more information, go to www.barelythere.com.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"I'm computer-illiterate and I never use the Internet. I don't know, I just can't find any use for it myself. So I don't have e-mail, I don't have any of that stuff."

-- Actor Chad Michael Murray ("A Cinderella Story"), in J-14 magazine.

-- Knight Ridder Newspapers