FAMILY: 'DAD, LOOK AT IT LIKE THIS'

Spring break is coming up--the perfect time to take your child to an art museum. But how do you get a videogame addict to appreciate Cezanne? Carol Weston, author of the new tween novel "Melanie in Manhattan" (Knopf. $15.95), in which the main character explores New York City cultural institutions, explains how to get them excited.Less is more. Don't attempt a full day of museumgoing. Instead, plan just one hour. "It's smart to leave before your kids start begging to leave," she says.Start at...

SKIN CARE: LIP BALM SMACKDOWN

Dermatologists say Vaseline and Chapstick work just as well as designer lip balms, but TIP decided to see for ourselves and test drive top brands on our lips. The results? Higher price doesn't always equal better lip service.MURAD Soothing Lip Therapy. Pro: As goopy and rich as Kiehl's popular Lip Balm #1 but less chalky. Con: It has a medicine taste. And wouldn't you rather spend that money at the movies? Rating: 4 lips. $11, sephora.comSMITH'S Rosebud Salve. Pro: Like Vaseline, only better...

TRAPPING THE SUPERBUGS

Nicholas Johnson nearly died from what he thought was a shoulder sprain. Last year the 13-year-old from Stafford, Texas, made an awkward tackle in football practice and a few days later ended up in the emergency room with a fever of 40.3 degrees. Doctors, who had initially given him pain medication and a sling, now added antibiotics and a diagnosis of walking pneumonia. But Johnson only grew worse. When his parents rushed him back to the ER three days later, respiratory failure had set in and...

TRAPPING THE SUPERBUGS

Nicholas Johnson nearly died from what he thought was a shoulder sprain. Last year the 13-year-old from Stafford, Texas, made an awkward tackle in football practice and a few days later ended up in the emergency room with a fever of 104.6 degrees. Doctors, who had initially given him pain medication and a sling, now added antibiotics and a diagnosis of walking pneumonia. But Johnson only grew worse. When his parents rushed him back to the ER three days later, respiratory failure had set in and...

MONEY: JUST REWARDS

Santa's not the only one with a naughty-and-nice list. Your boss, too, decides who gets a gift (a raise or promotion) and who gets a lump of coal (nada). Assuming you've worked hard all year, how else can you boost your chances of getting more than just a pat on the back? "If you really want a raise, ask strategically," says Robin Ryan, a Seattle-based career coach and author of "What to Do With the Rest of Your Life." First, compile a list of the new skills you've learned and the important...

DESIGN: THE OVEN OF YOUR DREAMS

Jane Freiman is crazy about her new Viking wall oven. The other night she made crisp sirloin steaks worthy of a chophouse. "You can get the rack extra-close to the heating element," she says. Later this month the New York City-based journalist and kitchen designer will start turning out Thanksgiving pies for her friends. In her old oven, with its uneven heat, she could use just one strategically placed rack at a time. Now she'll use all three.Though busy Americans are cooking less than ever,...

'CHILL BREEZES FROM THE PAST'

Andrew Jack could hardly have picked a better time to come out with a book on Vladimir Putin. In the past two months, the Russian president has faced the worst string of terror attacks ever to hit Russian soil, from the coordinated bombings of two commercial aircraft to the Beslan school siege. He's responded with a stunning array of repressive measures aimed at tightening his already firm grip on power. Jack's book, "Inside Putin's Russia: Can There Be Reform Without Democracy?" (362 pages....

DESIGN: QUALITY FOR THE MASSES

Long before Ikea and Pottery Barn became household names, there was Conran's. The British import, first opened in 1964 and known as Habitat outside the United States, was one of the original bastions of well-designed yet affordable furnishings. Its founder, Terence Conran, parlayed his success with the chain into international renown--and a knighthood--as a furniture maker, restaurateur and retailer. After selling off his Habitat empire 12 years ago and reinventing Conran's as a more upscale...

FOOD: LET THEM EAT DUCK

For those who think everything tastes like chicken, there's now a duck that tastes like steak. The Challans, a 400-year-old breed once served to French kings, is making its American debut this fall. Made famous by Paris's La Tour d'Argent restaurant, the duck is known for its robust flavor and exceptionally lean but tender flesh. "It's an animal that goes 'moo' but has wings," says J. Bryce Whittlesey, executive chef at Wheatleigh in Lenox, Mass., who worked with duck grower Robert Rosenthal of...

STYLE: A WALK ON THE MOON

Sick of Uggs? Last year the Aussie sheepskin boots stoked a craze after showing up beneath the coats of Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson and other celebrities. Now it's time to move on. "If you did Ugg boots last season and you need something to do this season, it's going to be moon boots," says Stacey Pecor, president of Olive and Bettes, a chain of fashion boutiques in New York City. Yes, the enormous astronaut-style shoes you complained about as a kid have come into vogue. (Hint: this time,...

OUT OF OPTIONS

In one of the worst spates of terrorism Russia has ever seen, 425 people are dead--blown up at a Moscow subway station, killed on two passenger jets blown out of the sky and, most horrifically, massacred in Beslan's School No. 1 on the first day of classes. Russians are dazed and angry: How could this happen? Who will be held responsible? What will be done to prevent the next atrocity? And they want answers. "If someone doesn't take responsibility," says Vladimir Solovyov, a popular Moscow...

STALIN LITE HAS ITS LIMITS

In Russia's worst outburst of terrorism since Soviet times, at least 425 people are dead, blown up at a Moscow subway station, killed on two bombed passenger jets and, most horrifically, massacred in Beslan's School No. 1 on the first day of classes. Russians are dazed and angry: How could this happen? Whose fault was it? What will be done to prevent the next atrocity? "If someone doesn't take responsibility," says Vladimir Solovyov, a popular Moscow radio and television host who initiated a...

Back In The Ussr...

Is Russian President Vladimir Putin using a recent string of devastating terrorist attacks as an excuse for tightening his grip on power? This week, Putin proposed placing strict controls over the election of governors and parliamentary deputies. If the proposals go through, as expected, governors who are now popularly elected would instead be nominated by the Kremlin and approved by local legislatures. And grassroots candidates to Russia's lower house of Parliament, who now provide most of the...

A Bloody End

Even as flames burst through the windows of Beslan's School No. 1 and rescue workers carried out corpse after corpse with missing limbs, Russian state television was putting a positive spin on things. "Practically the whole school is under the control of special forces," an NTV announcer repeated every 10 minutes this afternoon. "The vast majority of child hostages are alive." A few hundred yards away, volunteers loaded half-naked and bloodied kids, once dressed in their finest for the Sept. 1...

'We Need To Start A Dialogue'

In the last eight days, five terror attacks have swept across Russia: a bombing at a bus stop, simultaneous explosions that brought down two commercial planes, last night's subway bombing that killed 10 people and today's siege of a school in the province of North Ossetia, on the border with Georgia in the south. Between 100 and 300 people are being held hostage, half of them children who arrived this morning with their parents for the first day of school. At least 15 armed attackers rushed the...

The Verdict: Terror

After days of obfuscation, Russian investigators finally acknowledged Friday that terrorism probably downed one of two planes on Tuesday night, killing 90 passengers and crew. The jets, which left Moscow's Domodedovo airport 40 minutes apart and fell from the sky within three minutes of each other, were traveling to the southern towns of Sochi, a Black Sea resort, and Volgograd. After hinting for days that the tragedy was caused by everything from a thunderstorm to "a breach of civil aviation...

IS EARLY STILL BETTER?

Odi Kanter admits that applying Early Decision to Duke University was a strategic choice. Duke "was sort of a reach for me," says Kanter, who graduated in June 2004 from the private Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, Mass. After consulting with her college adviser and with students who'd recently gone through the admissions process, she learned that "there is a slight advantage to applying early--the school knows it's your first choice, that it's where you want to go." Her...

PRIMPED TO SELL

Racing to unload your home before the real-estate market tanks? Here's how to prep for that all-important first impression: the open house.De-clutter. Pack up your winter clothes, that extra sofa, your prized collection of ceramic roosters. "Start really moving out," says Lisa LaPorta, cohost of HGTV's "Designed to Sell." "Know that the house you're selling is not the house you live in anymore."Neutralize your space. Hide all your personal items, including wedding photos and refrigerator...

HYGIENE: DON'T SWEAT IT

Technically, just 3 percent of the population suffers from excessive sweating. But who wants to sweat at all? Certain Dri ($5.71 at drugstore.com) contains a higher concentration of the active ingredient found in most over-the-counter antiperspirants. Applied at night, it keeps you drier but not necessarily less stinky--so add a deodorant. Drysol, a prescription antiperspirant with a still higher concentration of aluminum compound, works better but can irritate your skin. This summer, the FDA...

GADGETS: A PORTABLE CLASSROOM

School's out, and you're wondering how to keep your kids' brains from turning to mush. For help, Tip Sheet called on child-development expert Stevanne Auerbach, a.k.a. Dr. Toy, who last week released her annual list of best vacation products. From among her 100-plus winners, we picked the best electronic toys and videos to keep your child entertained--and stimulated--through the lazy summer months. (All are available for purchase through links at drtoy.com.)EasyPC by Comfy ($99). Age range: 1...

TECHNOLOGY: BOBBING FOR PICS

Intimidated by all those sleek, pricey digital cameras? Lomo's new underwater Frogeye is low tech, low stress, and high fun. Lomo, the cult brand that originated in St. Petersburg, Russia, and is now based in Vienna, makes simple, lightweight cameras popular for the woozy, color-saturated images they produce. The Frogeye ($75;lomography.com) is sturdy for a Lomo and features an automatic flash and film advance (most Lomos are manual). Its flash is strong and works underwater as far away as 15...

Design: Wallpaper Gets Down

Knitting needles, brooches and swing skirts aren't the only vintage accessories making a comeback. At last week's International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York--an annual showcase of high-end design for the home--a crop of start-up companies showed off a fresh take on something long associated with Grandma's house: wallpaper. Instead of yellow daisies and toile, there were sequins, fringe and trippy Mylar. "Wallpaper is getting a new lease on life," says Arlene Hirst, a senior editor at...

Online: Ranting For Profit

If you've been racking up hours blogging in your basement, you might as well get paid for it. As Web logs (personal online journals) proliferate, so do the opportunities to make extra cash. Henry Copeland, founder of blogads.com, suggests writers zero in on a single subject they're passionate about. "Get a niche and just dig in," he says. Copeland sells ads for blogs with as few as 10,000 page views per month (like scifan.com) and as many as 4 million (like instapundit.com); his clients can...

Esprit Redux

If you want insight into the business strategy of the reinvented Esprit brand, just pick up a copy of "Trading Up," a popular business book last year about the buying patterns of affluent American consumers. "I spent the time to read all 560 pages in English, and I tell you I was sweating like this," says Heinz Krogner, the clothing company's German CEO, mopping his brow. The book (336 pages, actually) describes companies like Coach and Williams-Sonoma that have raked in profits by targeting...

The More Social Sex

Western culture is filled with examples of heroic male friendships. Lewis and Clark opened up the American West. James Watson and Francis Crick unveiled the DNA double helix, the secret of life. Crime-fighting duos from the Lone Ranger and Tonto to Batman and Robin have kept bad guys at bay. And what have women's friendships fostered? Cut to Carrie and her "Sex and the City" pals sipping cosmos and dishing about their boyfriends, Dolly Parton and the Steel Magnolias bawling at the local beauty...

Food: Start The Frothers

Even coffeemaking has turned into a competitive sport. This week America's Specialty Coffee Association names a new U.S. barista champion. tip sheet asked last year's winner, Heather Perry, 21, how to make the perfect cup of espresso at home.Invest in a good machine. "Price is a pretty good determinant of quality," says Perry. Expect to spend at least $200, and look for one with nine-bar pressure.Grind your own beans. Never use pods. "Coffee loses about half its flavor within seven minutes of...

TIME TRAVELERS

Two years ago Bill Wohler and his wife, Lynn Brinton, left their jobs for a dream vacation. Brinton, who was working long hours as a public-relations executive, took a six-month sabbatical and Wohler, a software engineer, quit. "I thought to myself, this job isn't so great," he says. "And how many opportunities do you have to travel together?" Childless and in their early 40s, the Menlo Park, California, couple bought a bright red Jeep and headed for the hills. During the next two months they...

MUSIC: SUMMER FESTIVALS

Whether you know your Haydn from your Handel or can't tell Mozart from Mendelssohn, summer festivals offer a leisurely and inexpensive way to enjoy classical music. Some of the high notes:Ravinia Highland Park, Ill. ravinia.org Bored with the classics? Check out the Zulu opera "Princess Magogo kaDinuzulu" (June 4-6) and "Los Sazones," a salsa version of Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" (Aug. 15). Tickets: $10-$70.Tanglewood Lenox, Mass. tanglewood.org Shaggy-haired maestro Seiji Ozawa visits from...

In Season: Dishing The Shad

Some look for cherry blossoms and robins as the first signs of spring. Others impatiently check local seafood shops for the arrival of a rare, silvery fish called shad. The tender, tasty cousin of the herring spawns in rivers off the Atlantic and Pacific; peak shad-fishing season is between March and June. Because it's available for a relatively short period of time--and because its stocks have become depleted along the East Coast--the shad is greeted with festivals and added to the menus of...

FOOD: MINI BURGERS

They've made the leap from fast-food staple to stylish hors d'oeuvre. Sample the best gourmet two-ounce burgers at these upscale clubs and restaurants.POP BURGER, New York: This mod lounge and burger window serves chunky, juicy patties on toasted brioche buns. $5 for two at the window, $12 for three in the lounge. 212-414-8686.AURA, Portland, Ore.: Not a beef eater? No problem. This chic bar offers salmon, jerked-chicken and portobello burgers in addition to a spicy version of the classic. $9...

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