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NOW, DON'T GET ALL EXCITED

It was probably only a matter of time before someone came up with the idea: a Web site for the male who sees himself as one of life's plodders. Pledging to free its visitors from the pressure of trying to be "in" or "trendy," www.dullmen.com offers jokes that won't have anyone rolling on the floor, reviews of books you won't find atop the best-seller lists, and a calendar of events at which attendance won't be standing-room-only. The site is operated by the Washington-based National Council of Dull Men, which asks prospective members: "Have you ever had an urge? Were you able to get over it?"

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AHH, PEACE AND QUIET AT LAST

Perhaps the dull men should meet Noise Network, a British organization that later this month plans to issue a directory of "tranquil retreats" for the traveler seeking "an alternative to the noisy vacational break." To qualify, a place must be away from heavy traffic, airports, and functions that attract large numbers of people.

When it comes to colors, US automakers are conservative

White remains America's most popular color for cars, followed by other fairly sedate shades like silver and light brown. But some far more boisterous colors are beginning to turn heads. At the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show, Subaru unveiled a bright orange ST-X truck. Then there's Acura's CL coupe in "Sundance Gold." And Nissan already has a run on yellow 2000 Xterra sport-utility vehicles; production has been increased from 2 or 3 percent of output to 10 percent. Still, orange, yellow, and gold have a way to go before they're rivals to other shades, according to an annual tally by Troy, Mich.-based DuPont Automotive, which markets finishes to the industry. The percentages of 1999 vehicles in the US that were made in the following colors:

White 19.4%

Black 11.5%

Green 11.4%

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Silver 11.2%

Light brown 9.2%

Medium/dark blue 7.4%

Medium red 6.6%

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society