Working on a formula so that Guinness could be drunk straight from a stubby noticed that people with moustaches often caught a bit of froth in their facial hair. How much? That's where Dr Robin Dover, one of the Britain's leading moustache experts came in. Dr Dover calculated that in Britain alone, about 162,719 pints of the black stuff are caught in moustaches, costing drinkers an annual A[pounds sterling]425,000 a year, or roughly $A1.1 million. You can choose to dropshipping in ebay or other site. This shocking statistic is not, however, causing leading Victorian Hibernophile and former Deputy Premier Pat McNamara any sleepless nights, despite his 'tache.

This year McNamara is once again organising the annual St Patrick's Day dinner, which will be held tomorrow night in the Queen's Hall in Parliament House. The event, which McNamara has been coordinating since its inception in 1982, crosses party lines and brings together leading Victorians from all walks of life. The St Pats ringleaders include Nat Bill McGrath, former Labor Treasurer Tony Sheehan and Transport Minister Peter O'Batchelor.


McNamara says it's one of the few events on the political calendar that brings together Spring Streeters of all persuasions, not to mention a host of judges (including Chief Justice Harber Phillips), football club presidents, trade union leaders and businessfolk. Should any of them be feeling shy, they will be able to avail themselves of Guinness's latest marketing gimmick, St Patrick's Day masks, designed to protect the anonymity of revellers (particularly during office hours). The Spring Street St Patrick's Dinner club has one rule: dinner must be finished by 1am so that the group can adjourn to the Celtic Club. As for the moustache dilemma, McNamara says he keeps his neatly trimmed to avoid wastage. Packers love Sir Les.

In this year's Archibald Prize are quite good, and that's not just our opinion - it's the opinion of New South Wales Art Gallery head storeman, Steve Peters, who supervised this year's annual packers' award. AAP reports that Peters and his panel of packers chose Bill Leak's painting of Sir Les Patterson (detailed right) as their favorite, edging out portraits of author Christopher Koch and personality Maria Venuti. The packers generally vote for portraits of scantily clad women - nudes of Kate Ceberano and Kate Fischer have been previous winners. The packers have yet to select the same painting as the official judges. Last year the packers' prize did not even make it into the exhibition. Spring Street Bingles


Mishap in the parliamentary car speaker park occured on Tuesday night when the new upper house MP, Andrew Olexander, backed his Toyota into the car of theSpeaker, Alex Andrianopoulos. Olexander assured BackPage's snout that he had taken every care when backing his car - from a most favorable angle, it could be said - but couldn't quite manage the space. But our snout reckons an average driver could have manoeuvred a B-double without coming close to scraping another object.

A diplomatic Andrianopoulos said this was a "matter of judgement". It was the second scrape for Andrianopoulos in the space of a few days. At the weekend, a thief prised the emblem off his car boot leaving a dirty scuff mark on the bumper. Olexander "strenuously challenged" rumors he had done a runner after the bingle, which happened about 10pm. He couldn't see any damage and recorded the car's number plate so he could track its owner in the morning. The issue has since been resolved.


FORGET the Milford Sound. Forget the beauty of the Queen Charlotte Track up in Picton, and the Sky Tower looming like a giant, sullen knitting needle over Auckland. Forget the thousands upon thousands of empty acres of lush greenery and rolling, spacious hills where not a solitary soul is to be encountered. Forget Dunedin, the home of more decent music in the '80s than the rest of the Western world put together.

Forget trying to spot the kiwi bird in the wild - a shy, nocturnal, unassuming creature that hates human contact and likes to burrow for worms with its arse stuck up high in the air (quite the national symbol when you think about it). What really excites BackPage's array of half-arsed nature lovers and part-time tourists about New Zealand is SHEEPWORLD! Yes, Sheepworld!


An unassuming spot at Warkworth in the North Island where the Asians and country schoolkids queue up for ... ooh ... minutes to be allowed to pet black, white and grey lambs. Sheepworld! Where you can ruin even the most expensive of camera lenses with just a dollop of sheep spit. Sheepworld! Where ducks and hens and goats nestle happily next to ragged-arse ewes, and it only costs a dollar to buy a polyurethane cup of sheep-feed, thus causing your hands to become even more covered in sheep saliva. When we told our Dunedin friends in Melbourne that we expected Sheepworld to be one of the highlights of our holiday in NZ, they raised their eyebrows, looked at us with something akin to disgust and muttered something about bloody strange Poms.

How could they have doubted us! At Sheepworld, you get to pet sheep, feed sheep, get covered in slobbery sheep saliva, have a chance to buy sheep-orientated gifts, pet some more sheep, feed lambs and goats and ducks and sheep, er ... What a place! What an experience! A few days later, we passed up on what would doubtless have been the experience to end all experiences - Cow World! No, don't give us any beef about it. -


Oscar Wilde once described football as "all very well as a game for rough girls, but it is hardly suitable for delicate boys". -- Supplied by Julian Lewis INTELLIGENCER If you leave your hair dirty, after a while it stops becoming dirtier. Jerry Hall ponders the need for shampoo. ROUNDUP All the news that was * WE MIGHT finally find out how much meat is in our pies under proposed labelling regulations which will also tell us how much fish is in fish fingers and how much fruit is in jam, but not how much dog there is in dog food. Her husband's time in jail was "not a tea party", said Diana Bliss, wife of Alan Bond.

After efforts to make tampons GST-exempt failed, women would now have a "monthly reminder" of the new tax, said Labor. A 12-year-old-chess wiz from Melbourne took on world champion Garry Kasparov on the Internet and almost won; the Democrats accused the Government of abolishing the phone sex industry just to please Brian Harradine and Denis Napthine didn't say much. A secret meeting of Liberal MPs revealed Napthine's time as Opposition Leader could be brief.

The King of the Grammys will soon have a street in his Mexican home town, Autlan de Navarro, named after




Young writers can depend on innovative writing devices such as personification to add color to their work. Writing techniques can be made more interesting for elementary students by using rhetorical devices, employing an alliterative story as a model for writing alliterative picture books, using picture books, writing and solving metaphor riddles, employing slime in teaching personification, and using sounds in the kitchen as sources for onomatopoeia.

Full Text: 

"Let the rain kiss you..." This unforgettable line from Langston Hughes's "April Rain Song" demonstrates why writers rely on devices such as personification. Figures of speech, alliteration, onomatopoeia, and other word play help writers create energy and atmosphere in their writing. As your students learn about and begin to notice these devices in the material they read, you'll begin to see the same techniques appearing in their writing - writing that is more focused, expressive, and alive.

Introducing Rhetorical Devices

Rhetorical devices enliven students' writing so their ideas become more exciting to read," says Kent Alexander, writer-in-residence for Teachers and Writers Collaborative and contributing author to Sing the Sun Up: Creative Writing Ideas from African-American Literature (teachers & Writers, 1998). Here, Alexander shares a favorite mini-lesson to introduce figures of speech and other writing devices to your students.

1.  On the chalkboard print a simple sentence, devoid of even adjectives or adverbs, such as "The boy went to the store."

2.  Ask children to contribute words to modify each noun. Then have them brainstorm adjectives and adverbs that suggest sensory details, such as sights, sounds, smells, and textures. Children may also substitute specific nouns for the generic boy and store, and a more powerful verb for went. Record all suggestions and substitutions alongside the original sentence.

3. Invite students to read the words in any combination to create new versions of the original sentence: "The green, seasick boy hobbled to the yellow supermarket."

4.  Which version - the original or the revised - do children like better? Why?

5.  Repeat this activity to help children explore and develop any rhetorical device you are covering. For example, focusing on alliteration, one revised sentence might read, "The starving boy strolled swiftly to the supermarket."

Teaching with the Reproducibles

Once down a foxhole lived a family of fox kits. There was Frank, there was Floyd, there were Freddy and Flo. Fosdyke made five.

Introduce alliteration with Four Famished Foxes and Fosdyke (HarperCollins, 1995), Pamela Duncan Edwards's tale of four foxes who attempt to feast on a farmyard of fowl and their brother who prefers flan, fiddleheads, and other gourmet delights. The reproducibles (after Technology Buyer's Guide pullout) give children a chance to try out the author's technique themselves.

Follow up by letting children write their own alliterative picture books. How many objects with names that start with the repeating consonant sound can they hide in the illustrations? (Edwards challenges children to find at least 60 objects beginning with the letter f.) As part of the revision process, have children read aloud their stories. Do they like the way the words sound?

PICTURE BOOKS: A Terrific Teaching Tool

Students of all ages enjoy picture books - and they make a great tool for teaching elements of writing. In a ten-minute mini-lesson, you can read a book cover to cover, letting children see how the author uses the devices covered in this workshop in the context of a whole story. With limited text, children can more easily pick up on, for example, alliterative lines, metaphors, and so on. Use a book such as Four Famished Foxes and Fosdyke (see reproducibles, after the Technology Buyer's Guide pullout) to introduce a rhetorical device, then let children explore stories on their own or in teams to notice additional examples.

Alliteration: The Key to Happenin' Headlines

Where do you look for alliteration? Donna Clovis, an ESL/language arts teacher with the Riverdale School District in Riverdale, New Jersey, finds it in the news. "We don't usually think of newspaper writing as being beautifully written," says Donna. But she and her students discovered that it is. Her students begin by looking for articles that use alliteration in the leads. They then use alliteration to write their own leads for school news stories, polishing the stories on the computer and then using a large type size to make the alliterative lines stand out. Students display their stories on a bulletin board covered with newspaper.


Alliteration can be used to achieve different moods, for example:

* To impart energy: "...honks its horn to hurry us" (from "Sleepy Schoolbus" by X. J. Kennedy in Roll Along: Poems on Wheels, selected by Myra Cohn Livingston; McElderry, 1993)

* To create a sense of fluidity: "A seal sniffs softly as he recognizes you..." (from Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey; Viking, 1957)

Write & Solve Metaphor Riddles

I look like a thistly you, but I grow taller and smaller in a day. What am I? Your shadow

Turn your classroom into a game show to learn more about metaphor and personification. Students will write What Am I? riddles describing objects by comparing them with other things or by writing about them as though they were living things. Here are some tips.

* Brainstorm nouns, such as night, cat, wind, book, bug. Be creative. Words like smile, shadow, and blizzard might make fun riddles.

* Choose one object and think of something to compare it with.

* Try describing the object as a living thing, too. Which method works best?

* Refine your riddle, making changes to create a strong image of the object without naming it.

Let students pose their finished riddles to classmates - a game-show format could add some fun and excitement. Or use the riddles to create an interactive display. Have students glue or tape flaps on paper, then write the riddle on the outside and the answer underneath.

Describe the Slime

Donna Clovis offers writing workshops during recess. How does she get third graders to trade in playtime for writing? Slime! This personification workshop puts a spin on the old writing-about-rocks trick.

Use the recipe below to mix up a batch of slime. After children have had a chance to get to know their slime, let them develop and write about characters based on it. Ask questions to guide them: What words describe the qualities of your slime? How does it move? What kind of character would slime be? What kind of a voice would slime have?

Slime is just one of the objects Donna uses to introduce personification. "The objects need to have texture - something students can feel," she says. String foam and shaving cream are other favorites.


I'm mysterious creeping, crawling listening carefully to every conversation creeping and crawling and oozing down the white walls of your kitchen to the floor.

- by Marcos, Grade 3

Make Your Own Slime

2 parts white glue 1 part liquid fabric starch food coloring (optional) 1. Add food coloring to glue and stir. 2. Add starch and mix thoroughly. 3. Grab a handful. Slimy!

Whir, Whistle, Whoosh

What are the sounds of everyday life? Invite children to explore onomatopoeia at home by spending some time in the kitchen. What are the sounds of a toaster, microwave, mixer, tea kettle, can opener, and coffee maker? What other sounds are part of a kitchen? For example, they might hear pans clattering, water whooshing, and popcorn popping. Ask children to write words that sound like the noises they hear. Share them in class, making lists of the many words that create sensory images of busy kitchens.

Adapted from Prose and Poetry for Young Readers and Writers: Grades 4, 5, 6 by Cornelius Novelli (The L. W. Singer Co./Random House, Inc., 1964) by permission of the author.

Teaching with the Poster

Use the poster (after Technology Buyer's Guide) to show students how some of their favorite authors use writing devices to spice up their work. Then try the following activities to help them create their own literary sparks.

* Use Doug Florian's poem "The Mosquitoes" to explore metaphor. Ask: How is a mosquito bite like "take-out food"?

* Explore onomatopoeia with the excerpt from Julius Lester's retelling of the Uncle Remus stories. Ask: Why do you think words like ZOOM are in capital letters?

* Susan B. Anthony's speech shows students how various devices help make any kind of writing more effective. Read the excerpt aloud. Ask: What words catch your ear? Notice how the repetition of sounds (in battle/ballot, peaceably/persistently) adds emphasis to the writer's words.

A Dictionary of Devices

Use these definitions and examples of devices to teach a series of ten-minute mini-lessons.

* Ask students what they notice about the words in the example. Guide them to recognize the device you are introducing.

* Try making word substitutions to learn more. For example, as you explore consonance, compare "wrapped her arms around" with "put her arms around." Which does a better job of establishing a mood?

* Display a piece of chart paper labeled with each device. Record a definition in children's words, then let them add samples as they find them.

SIMILE: uses like or as to whether it's shooting or passing.

"Flat as a pancake/Flat as a crepe/Flounders are flat/As a prairie in shape."  from In the swim by Douglas Florian (Harcourt Brace, 1997)

 METAPHOR: an implied com-parison that doesn't use like or as.      

"Out of the factory chimney tall/Great back animals like to craw..." from "Smoke Animals," in Story Teller Poems by Rowena Bennett (Holt, Rinehart)

 PERSONIFICATION: giving an object or idea human qualities  

"...little gray footprints followed us" from Owl Moon by Jane Yolen (Philomel, 1987)

 ALLITERATION: repetition of beginning consonant sounds

"The dreadful dragon lay stretched on the sunny side of a great hill..." from Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges (Little, Brown, 1984)

 ONOMATOPOEIA: words that sound like their meaning such as slush, buzz, and zip.      

"It started with a puddle of banana pudding...SPLAT! SPLATTER! SPOOSH! Everyone slid smack into Mrs. Toppel..." from Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathman (Putnam, 1995)

 CONSONANCE: repeating consonant sounds in words, not necessarily beginning sounds

"Annamarie smiled and wrapped her arms around her little sister in the dark." from Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (Houghton Mifflin, 1989)

 ASSONANCE: repetition of vowel sounds in words

"...A spatter a scatter a wet cat a clatter/A spatter a rumble outside." from "Weather" in Catch a Little  Rhyme by Eve Merriam.


Overview about the lost arts

Back when hockey stick blades were heavy and defensemen wore pads as sturdy as soggy Sears catalogs, Blackhawks sniper Bobby Hull and Blues defenseman Al Arbour met in the most perilous of confrontations.

Hull, armed with a slap shot that could dismantle a Zamboni, raced down the wing, leaned back, swung that curved piece of lumber at the puck and WHACK!

As that was happening, Arbour, who wore no helmet, just his trademark eyeglasses and a smirk, dropped to his knees in front of that rocketing disk of rubber and WHACK!

"Arbour would come into the locker room between periods, and they'd take off his shin pads, and they'd stitch him up in the leg," says University of Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson, Arbour's teammate with the Blues. "The shot, literally, went through the shin pad. They'd put him back out there, and Bobby Hull would come down and lean on that stick, and Arbour would go down again."

In that era of "old-time hockey," defensemen such as Arbour regularly risked a healthy lifestyle to block shots.

That wasn't the only thing players once did

They also more frequently used hip checks to dislodge rushers from their jocks (and the puck), and defensemen were careful not to wander too far away from their own end. Goalies stood like Buckingham Palace guards, standing upright while kicking and stabbing at the rubber disk, and forwards wielded sticks like brooms to wrist and backhand shots.

But as time passed, old-time hockey simply became old. As a result, many traditional techniques players relied upon during those years have become lost arts.

For instance, players have become more discerning shot blockers than in the days of Hull and Arbour. Instead of sprawling and potentially taking themselves out of a play--or dropping in front of every slap shot--players today try to use their bodies and sticks more efficiently.

"It's all timing, it's an art," Berenson says. "It's hard to practice. There are times when I've even brought tennis balls onto the ice so the players knew they weren't going to get hurt."

Murray Baron of the Canucks garners mention

As one of today's best shot blockers, as do the Devils' Scott Stevens, the Lightning's Jassen Cullimore and Kings winger Kelly Buchberger. Even star Red Wing forwards Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull and Brendan Shanahan have been known to throw themselves in front of a shot or two.

Like shot blocking, hip checking requires near-perfect timing and balance.

"The hip checks, they were really spectacular," says Glenn "Chico" Resch, a Devils broadcaster and an NHL goalie from 1973 to 1987. "But when you missed, the poor defenseman was ... mooning the crowd, and the guy was going in on a breakaway."

Few of today's defensemen are schooled properly in this lost art.

"It's not something we want to teach our own players because it can also lead to knee injuries and charley horses," Berenson says.

Colorado's Rob Blake and Pittsburgh's Darius Kasparaitis are masters of shooting from the hip. Blake, 6-4, 220, is good at getting his low center of gravity in the way of a streaking forward. Kasparaitis, a nasty 5-11, 212, has been known to hip-hurl forwards skates-over tea kettle into a team bench.

The dearth of stay-at-home defensemen is another product of a game that changes continually. Pioneers such as Bobby Orr, Denis Potvin, Paul Coffey and Ray Bourque brought offensive hockey to the back line and rendered the traditional defense-first style a lost art. Today's most recognized defensemen--Norris Trophy winners such as Nicklas Lidstrom, Brian Leetch, Blake, Chris Pronger and Al MacInnis--combine strong offensive and defensive skills.

"It's all about scoring for defensemen," says Thrashers G.M. Don Waddell, a former IHL defenseman. "Unless you're getting points--somehow, players feel they're going to be measured like that."

Stevens is regarded as the best stay-at-home

Blue-liner in the game. He is a punishing open-ice defender who also boasts a crushing shoulder check, two attributes often seen in his style of defenseman.

"Stevens in the open ice is a throwback defenseman in a sense because the game is so fast and quick, you don't see a lot of big open-ice hits," says Capitals assistant coach Tim Army. "He closes the ice really well."

But that big open-ice hit best exemplified by the hip check--is a lost art. Forwards, who have become faster and more elusive, should get part of the blame (or credit) for putting it on the endangered list.

"It's tough to hit a skilled player," says Kings defenseman Mathieu Schneider. "Expansion and the European players have made it a totally different game."


Schneider says instruction has the most to do with changing the way the hip check is used.

"Players are not taught at a younger level how to use the lost arts," he says. "I was taught how to poke check, hip check. Younger players are (instead) taught how to angle and use their upper body."

Until the mid-1970s, when face masks became an everyday part of all goalies' equipment, netminders played a "standup" style. They stood their ground in net and limited shooting space by cutting down the angles. This tactic was largely out of preservation, but it also was a holdover from the NHL's prehistoric days when a rule prohibited goalies from dropping to their knees to make a save.


Something about the New York City rush hour

"My era was a victim of learning from goalies who played in the `60s, who didn't have masks or very good equipment," Resch says. "Everybody said you had to be a standup goalie to be successful."

Conversely, today's taller, more athletic and well-protected goalie is forced to crouch to survive--and to see the puck. Today's forwards are bigger, faster and stronger than their predecessors. More maddening, they criss-cross, swirl and cycle, turning the slot into a New York City rush hour. A goalie must do whatever it takes to see the puck through the traffic.

"Goalies today, successful ones, play the odds," Waddell says. "The goaltenders we see use a lot of butterfly and use their whole upper body. The masks are so strong, their heads are part of the blocking area. They give shooters very little to shoot at."

The intruction to go the right way

Most goalies retain some aspects of the old-time style, but there are no pure standup goalies such as Ken Dryden or Bernie Parent. Any standup goalie who does make it into the league is quickly retrained by his goaltending coach.

"I had (Mighty Ducks') Steve Shields here, and he was a very successful standup college goalie," Berenson says. "But when he got to pro hockey, they made him change his style. He thinks it's helped him a lot."

Changes abound from the shooter's side of the stick, too. Although most players prefer the quick-release snap shot to the traditional sweeping wrist shot, top scorers such as Shanahan, Hull and Colorado's Joe Sakic all can score with wrist shots. Sakic's wrister has a whipping action; he releases it on the stride, making it difficult for a goalie to track.

"He has such a powerfully quiet shot and disguises it well," says broadcaster and former NHL goalie Darren Pang. "He gets everybody guessing."

Vancouver's Markus Naslund

Has a magician's hands, and he has an uncanny ability to "roof" the puck from in close with wrist shots.

"Naslund uses nothing but wrist shots," Canucks assistant coach Jack McIlhargey says. "He may take one to two slap shots a year. He has a great shot that is deceiving to goalies."

Another deceiving weapon is hockey's changeup, the backhand shot. Anaheim's Paul Kariya is one of the few players who uses it successfully.

"He's able to get the backhand away because he has such great foot speed," says Kings G.M. Dave Taylor. "He has a little bit quicker release and can get tremendous velocity on that backhand."

Whether it's shooting or passing

Again, the frequency of the skill is directly related to instruction.

"Coming up in the Montreal system, I was taught to play defense first," Schneider says. "I had coaches at the NHL level say, `No backhand pass.' I play both sides. They told me to turn and do the forehand."

For whatever reason the game's lost arts have been frozen out, Schneider believes the result is a game that isn't as good as it used to be.

"It's not as entertaining," he says. "The skilled players can't do as much. Everyone kind of plays the same way. The gifted players are on one or two lines and are given free license to be creative, and all the other players are told to shoot the puck at the net."

The experience in the end

Today's reliance on team-first play seems to be the main reason many of the arts have become lost.

"The teams these days that do win have the best fundamentals. Everything is so systematic," says Minnesota forward Jim Dowd. "Now everyone is in one position, and they try to bottle things up. Guys used to be able to fly through the midzone."

Changes in the game might have rarified some of old-time hockey's staple techniques, but what of the future? Will we have a new set of lost arts in 2010? That depends on how coaches teach, Berenson says.

"People are not necessarily teaching something new. They're teaching what they were taught by their coach, and their coach might have been a parent who didn't even play hockey," Berenson says. "Or it may have been an old-time hockey player who just taught what he learned from his coach."

It sounds like it might be a long rime before there will be a renaissance.



The Best Under Sink Water Filter for those people who dont like the looks of a water filter on their faucet. Invisible, highly effective and cheap

The most effective under sink water filter provide safe and healthy water to meet cooking and drinking needs of the household.  There are different types of these systems used in purifying water. Some are larger than others and can hold more volume of water. Of course, you are likely going to need a larger undersink water filter if you have a larger family to accommodate more water volume. The following are 5 of the most effective undersink water filters currently used in households.

1. Activated Carbon Filter

This simple water filter is positively charged to absolve carbon in the filter and traps many contaminants. They can be used in under sink, faucet, and countertop units. Activated carbon filters are very effective at removing odors and chemical tastes. They can equally remove many hazardous contaminants such as parasites, disinfection byproducts, and heavy metals like mercury, lead, and copper. Activated carbon  filters are also effective at removing organic chemicals such as trichloroethylene (TCE), dichlorobenzene, and butyl ether.

2. Cation Exchange Softener

This filter softens water by taking out strong minerals and replacing them with lesser charged minerals. They get rid of strong minerals such as magnesium and calcium because these minerals can be hazardous to the body.

3. Reverse Osmosis System

Reverse Osmosis System makes use of semi-permeable membrane to separate contaminants from water. It is an effective method of keeping debris out from water, though the process wastes a lot of water. Reverse osmosis can eradicate most contaminants from water, including parasites like Giardia and Cryptosporidum. These are among the smallest organisms that can be found in water. This membrane has very tiny pores that can prevent the tiniest organisms from making their ways into your drinking water. Apart from organisms, Reverse osmosis take care of pollutants like selenium, perchlorate, nitrite/nitrate, barium, and arsenic; and other heavy metals like mercury, lead, copper, and cadmium.

4. Ultraviolet Disinfection

This is very effective at destroying bacteria and other organisms in water. There are two types of this filter: the grade A and the grade B ultra disinfection. Like the name implies, the grade A types are more effective and removes a higher percentage of contaminants. The grade A systems are designed to protect against viruses and harmful bacteria. On the other hand, the grade B systems are made to destroy non-disease causing bacteria.

5. CulliganUndersink water filter

There is one reason why Culligan products are always given high priority by so many households. They represent quality! This undersink water filter by Culligan has 99.9% efficiency in eradicating chemicals and other contaminants that make water unsafe for drinking. This filter comes with a life indicator that lets you when it is the right time to replace your filter.

Which undersink filter should you go for

The type of water undersink water filter you choose depends on what you want to remove from your water. Most filters remove odor and tastes associated with substances like chlorine. But the best undersink water filters do even more. The above mentioned water filters are very effective at removing both bad tastes and other forms of determinants in water.



For the hardy souls who braved the cold wind and paid a visit to the Canadian National Exhibition yesterday, the 34th annual Antique and Classic Car Rally provided an unexpectedly warm interlude.

The 220-odd cars on display, spanning six decades of automotive history, spoke eloquently of a passionate love affair that makes Romeo and Juliet seem like casual acquaintances.

North Americans adore cars. They live in them, sleep in them, conceive children in them and quite frequently die in them. They accord them as much respect as they give each other, and sometimes more.

If there's a car heaven, it probably looks like yesterday's rally, which was sponsored by the Canadian Automobile Association.

The owners, models of servility, polished and primped their prize autos until they gleamed like brand- new patent leather shoes. As the cars paraded through the grounds, you almost expected passers-by to drop palm leaves in their path.


And what magnificent beasts they were] There were Chevrolets from the thirties, black monsters with menace in their grills, Thunderbirds from the fifties that all but exuded restless teen-age hormones, and more Model Ts than you could shake a spare tire at.

There was a 1951 Ford Country Squire, a station wagon big enough to pass as a troop carrier, and a 1959 BMW Isetta so tiny it might have been hatched from an egg.

The owners were as varied as their cars, but they shared one thing in common: at some time in their lives, the automobile bug sank its pincers into them, and has no intention of letting go. If you opened a vein on them, you'd probably find anti-freeze.

Ont., stood proudly beside his 1911 Stanley Steam car, which resembled nothing so much as a chantal tea kette 2015 on wheels. Mr. Smith has been collecting old cars since 1948, and at one time had as many as 40 different models. He said he drives the steam-powered Stanley as much as 3,000 kilometres a year along country roads.

"I learned to drive on the Ford Model T when I was quite young," he said, smiling. "I guess that dates me. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for them. I'm quite familiar with the cars of that era. I can relate to them.

"These cars represent an era from the past, the same as antique furniture. It's an early era of Canadiana."


Boris Spremo's bright red 1955 Mercury is the car he pined for but could not afford when he came to Canada from Yugoslavia in 1957. Years later, he found one in a farmer's barn, bought it and set to work restoring it. "It's my weekend toy.

"In those days, you could recognize cars on the spot, Today.

"Around 1955 was when cars started to take on a more streamlined look." He pointed to a 1951 Buick nearby. "See how that one is all round and bubbly-shaped? This one (a '55 Merc) is sleeker."

On the other side of the lot, Alex Colwell, of Burford, Ont., fussed over the spotless white 1955 two- seater Thunderbird he bought four years ago. Ford built only 16,000 of these two seaters between 1955 and 1957, making them "very collectible."

"The closest I ever came to owning one of these when I was growing up was a '54 Ford," he said. "I lived out in the sticks, and these were kind of a legend to me."

Mr. Colwell said he fell in love with this T-Bird on sight. He knows well how easily people can become attached to their cars.

"The chap who sold it to me was building a house, and he needed to sell it to get some money. He wanted to sell it to someone out of the area, so he'd never have to see it again. It was too painful for him."


There was a time when the game manufacturers were first coming out with their games but didn't have the assortment of cartridge titles to support the demand at that time. And, a lot of people jumped into the game business and everybody thought the upward curve on that would never end.

But, the consumer told us we reached a point of saturation, and I think we will reach the same point with third-party software.

Certainly there will always be a choplifter by a third-party small guy, and the computer software is easier to get to the market as far as the design and manufacturing.

However, I believe that we will reach a point of saturation in computer software.

DSN: Entertainment software is still predominant.

How does that speak to utility?

Prophater: As a company we've done an outstanding job in the learning machine-type business.

We're just touching the beginning of that industry; the upside is mind-boggling.

The business we can do over a four-week period of time with the learning-type instruments is far greater than what we've done with software and hardware combine with computers.

Lacey: All of us had the experience of selling a great deal of Commoddore and not selling much software. We sold a lot of peripherals and to this day, I'm not sure what people are doing with them.

I think that what puzzled me so much in the fall was the relative sales of software until TI dropped its prices, and then all of a sudden it sold.

The consumer didn't buy a lot of software for Commodore or for Timex; they bought the units.

The consumers did buy monitors, printers, and some other strange things and it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Jones: Since we benefited from the boom, I think the consumer did behave rationally.

I think our understanding is clouded by our perspective. I think consumers, are thriving on the computers. I think children and young teenagers who are very knowledgeable are the people who are fueling computers in the home just like they fueled the electronics devices a couple of years ago.

Frankly, I think they understand what it is, it's a library card. And, if we don't recognize essentially the key to a good library is a variety of things that everybody can use in the home, we're missing the point.

In my opinion, the retail problem--low-margin computers--has nothing to do with it.

Everybody in the retail business has different philosophies underlying how they wish to sell. We decided early some people wish to give it away. We have no control of them. I think the important thing is that you have got to recognize the average consumer understands he can't just buy a $200 computer.

We are staggered by the peripherals we're selling.

We never expected to have availability problems there.

As far as I'm concerned, I have at least 3,000 retailers in the United States making 20 to 25 per cent gross margins on my line because they understand their customer.

I think blaming the manufacturer is a bunch of garbage.

One other point on the Japanese, since I didn't get a shot at that: I think they're a formidable force in anything they do.

Prophater: I want to go back to the comment on pricing.

The reason this industry has low prices is because you have too many people. It's basic supply and demand.

If there's money to be made in this industry, then I say to you the supply which we receive has to be narrowed. If you say it can be made today, then why did Penney go out of the business?



Discount toy chains are learning to coexist peacefully and profitably in enclosed malls.

Six of the top 10 discount toy retailers, accounting for more than $500 million in sales last year, are primarily located in regional malls. Mall residents, including Kay Bee and Circus World, on a national level, and regional chains like Playland, K&K Toys, Karl's Toys and Hobby Center have all carved their own niche, vying for the same impulsive shopper in the high-traffic sites.

Steering clear of the pricing battles between the much larger, freestanding toy supermarkets, the mall retailers saw large sales gains in 1983. Kay Bee, for example, was up over 50% but the segment's success might be misleading.

Total volume for the mall merchants was still not even half that of Toys "R" Us, which rang up sales of $1.3 billion last year. Ninety-unit Child World, the nation's second largest toy retailer, almost reached 75% of total mall volume with sales of $360 million in 1983.


The mall concept continues to thrive. The chains, distinguised by their more expensive product lines or larger selections, are all, for the most part, cut from the same stone, featuring:

* 4,000-5,000 sku's of primarily basic toys;

* tightly planogrammed, 3,500-sq.-ft. units with goods stacked to the ceiling;

* attractive store fronts, offering seasonal promotions;

* comparatively high pricing;

* little to no outside advertising.

Catering to an impulse shopper, pricing doesn't need to be as sharp as the supermarkets but it's the high mall rent, ranging from $12 to over $20 per square foot, that makes everyday low pricing an impossibility. Most chains agree a 40% or better gross margin must be maintained to turn a profit.

The high rents paid are also a tradeoff with advertising dollars, and although the chains do advertise, mainly in the fourth quarter, it is primarily co-op funded.

In addition to the escalating rents, prime malls (over 400,000 sq. ft.) are becoming harder to find and the days of the one store per mall may be a thing of the past.

"If you look around at the larger, successful malls, you'll see two book chains, two record chains, two sporting goods outlets so it's certainly feasible to have two toy retailers in the same mall. Developers are all for it," said Richard Wilson, president of Greenman Bros.-owned Playland Toy Stores in Valdosta, Ga.


Playland currently shares residence with 15 Kay Bees and 10 Circus Worlds and Wilson feels the key to coexistence is just being a bit different.

"We're cleaner and more upscale looking than Kay Bee and some of the other chains. Playland also offers collectible dolls, home computers and video games although we still take a competitive posture on the more obvious merchandise," said Wilson.

The chain carries collector dolls by Madame Alexander, Effanbee and World Dolls, all in glass cases, ranging in price from $50 to $6,000.

Greenman Bros., one of the largest toy wholesalers in the country, bought Playland a yea and a half ago, and will be concentrating on expanding the Playland concept to the Northeast. Currently in 10 Southeastern states with 40 units, Playland will debut in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and New York by the end of the year.

The toy wholesaler also owns the freestanding Playworld chain based in New York but its size has shrunk from 20 to six units and the mall strategy will continue to be the company's main thrust, according to vice president Dave Yankey.

K&K Toys, a 69-unit chain based in Virginia Beach, VA., also operates two freestanding units called Toy Castles, but owner Kenneth Perry Sr. sees the future in malls.



"In our freestanding stores, margins run 8% to 10% less than our mall stores," he said. Margins are between 41% and 42% in the mall sites.

K&K, like Playland, is a self described "upscaler," featuring collectible dolls as its claim to fame. The 180-unit Circus World highlights its extensive plus lines with price points from $2 to well over $100.

Mall leader Kay Bee, owned by Melville Corp., stays with a less elaborate approach. Its mix consists of 10% imports, 20% TV items, 20% closeouts and 50% traditional toys. Although the chain is often accused of just selling boxes, Kay Bee is far and away the most successful mall operation in the nation.

"Wehre a very basic toy store. We rely on the heavy foot traffic like everyone else. Chains can be whatever they want to be but we're all pretty much the same," said Howard Kaufman, president of the 516-unit mall giant.


Karl's Toys, based in Los Angeles, stands as a strong case against Kaufman's "similarity" stance. The chain is a hybrid, a cross between F.A.O. Schwartz and Kay Bee. The 20-unit southern California retailer carries a mix that includes Brio wooden toys, Amby preschool toys from Italy, Chico toys from the Netherlands, diecast robots for over $100 from Japan and of course, Barbie.

"In any of the upscale stores, 75% of their volume is made on 20% of their goods. We've taken that 20% and along with our peripheral merchandise, including promotional, seasonal and basic goods, have made it easier for the customer to step up in price," said Bob Grey, executive vice president for the chain.

The current mix at Karl's is about 35% upscale, more expensive lines and 65% promotional and basic toys. Since most of the expensive lines are imported, margins run over 50%. Grey said the chain makes 36% to 37% on promotional goods.

The chain, located only in malls, can also be distinguished from the other mall stores by its size, about 5,800 sq. ft., almost twice as large as Kay Bee.

When we first introduced the Apple II for family a few years ago, it was a functional computer nobody understood. With all the coverage on the product, it has brought the level up to a point where people are interested and more knowledgeable. Now it's our responsibility at Apple to help people understand what you can do with the make them understand that programming today isn't necessary to know or understand, rather that application software is what it's all about.

So, we think there's a lot of things going in Apple favor at this time for us to be a viable player in 1984.


Ms. Peters: what we like to say is in the computer market.

We want to evaluate every channel. We ask that those channels be able to support and service our computer.

Jordan Levy, vp marketing, Software Distribution Services: It's interesting that in the fourth quarter of '83 about 25% of our business was in peripherals, but I have to disagree with our company's larger vendors in terms of the shakeout in this business.

Unfortunately, the manufacturers of hardware don't cooperate with the software distributors like us and try to let us know what's happening. There are a lot of third-party manufacturers and publishers out there, and some of them are gin to succeed.

In the long run you may be right; it may happen in this business as well, but I think it's a ways away, and as long as there's still a hit business and nt a brand business, it's going to continue.

Mullen: That might be true up to the last two years where we all learned a hard lesson in the game business.