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Etc...

It's from my 'early' period

From St. Simons Island, Ga., comes news that Danté Lamb has sold his first painting. It's in acrylics on canvas and had been showcased in the locally famous Monkey Love Dessert Bar & Gallery, where a patron liked it and plunked down the cash to take it home. What's so great about that? Only that Danté is three and wouldn't be into art this soon if his parents hadn't noticed his unusual interest in playing with crayons and chalk. Yes, he has a studio - a newspaper-covered floor of the family home. Said his mother, Aimee Lamb: "He just took to it."

All at once? wow!

As a landlord in Reno, Nev., Jim Stegmaier is used to collecting rent - just not a year's worth in advance. So his curiosity was aroused when a tenant tried to pay $50,000 up front, claiming he'd come into some cash. In fact, he had, allegedly stolen from a woman whose house he was renovating. Alas, for the tenant, Steg-maier knew how to act on his suspicions: He's a cop. As it looks now, his property soon could be available for rent again since the tenant may have a new address - jail.

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No, that's not it! America's most often misspelled cities

Pittsburgh - whose residents successfully challenged an 1890 order by the US Board on Geographic Names to drop that final "h" - tops a list of most misspelled cities by ePodunk.com. The online information site analyzed six months of its own search entries and checked major publications to compile a database it updates weekly of more than 4,000 place names that, for one reason or another, confound typists. The 10 toughest-to-spell locales:

1. Pittsburgh
2. Tucson, Ariz.
3. Cincinnati
4. Albuquerque, N.M.
5. Culpeper, Va.
6. Asheville, N.C.
7. Worcester, Mass.
8. Manhattan, N.Y.
9. Phoenix
10. Niagara Falls, N.Y.

What men, women want for the holidays

It's tech toys versus travel this holiday, according to a new survey showing the most desired holiday gifts for men and women.

A vacation, cruise, or day spa were the most popular options for women, while almost half of men said a gift from the electronics department topped their list.

Of the women in the study who said they want travel as a gift (27 percent), two-thirds said they would be willing to buy it for themselves.

For the 41 percent of men who highlighted electronics as their gift of choice, almost a third said their top pick would be a flat-screen TV, 23 percent chose a new computer, 16 percent opted for a digital camera.

The survey also identified items that will most likely be returned to the store after the holidays. Women said they least want sports and outdoor equipment, bar or entertaining accessories, or car equipment. Men said their gift-list no-no's include bar or entertaining pieces, craft items, or health and grooming items.

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The online study was conducted by a consulting firm called frank about women (www.frankaboutwomen.com), which helps companies build brand relationships with women.