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Distractions / Have time? Check these out


Easter Best!

If you plan to attend the Spring Flower Show this weekend at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens (see for details), you may want to dress up.

That's right. Don your fabulous Easter bonnet or Easter tie and -- we're serious here -- the Easter Bunny's "Helper" may choose you as a winner! You can make your get-up. Borrow it. Or buy it.

The "Dress Your Easter Best" contest runs Friday through Sunday and includes the following categories: "Most Creative," "Best Dressed Overall," "Most Inspired by Spring at the Gardens" for children and adults.

We are told that people really get into this. And there are prizes.



May you hear it

Though it was easy to miss her "Love Tattoo" album when Verve snuck it out in late 2009, following Imelda May's riveting performance alongside Jeff Beck during the 2010 Grammy Awards, we no longer have a valid excuse to ignore her. May is already revered in the U.K., where she'll spend the spring and summer on tour. The buzz on the Irish singer is growing stateside, though, based on the Beck appearance and the positive critical reception granted the blend of sultry big band arrangements and rockabilly fire that make "Love Tattoo" an indelible listen. Sample and/or buy the album at



Streaming Ebert

If, like most Americans, you've been sitting on the sidelines of Twitter like a wary spectator, here's one reason why you might want to wade into the fray: Roger Ebert. The prolific Chicago-based film critic is undergoing something of a popular resurgence, thanks in large part to his blog (, a recent profile in Esquire and the voracious, often hilarious and unending stream of Tweets he hands out like bits of digital candy throughout each day. He takes the the wide, wacky, ranging world of the Internet and filters it through his own fascinating sensibility. So don't be a Twitter quitter. Give @ebertchicago a chance.



Stupid wisdom

Call us skeptical, but we've always been kind of suspicious of those forwarded e-mails about hilarious things students write. You know, the ones that include, "Sir Francis Drake circumcised the globe with a 100-foot clipper." Heh. But now, as a sequel to his 2002 book, "Non Campus Mentis," an actual college professor has collected hundreds of entertaining and somewhat alarming statements "from actual exam books of real college students." In his book, "College in a Nutskull: A Crashed Course in Higher Education," (Workman, $8.95) Anders Henriksson, chairman of the history department at Shepherd University in West Virginia offers many gems of wisdom in a spiral-bound notebook.

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