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Make yourself comfortable

It was soooo hot, complained the political leader of Australia's state of New South Wales one day last week. "Suits are out," Premier Bob Carr declared at a photo-op in Sydney, minus his customary formal business attire. "Shirt sleeves are in ... even an open-necked shirt. The humidity is palpable; the heat is baking." Whew, must have been a real scorcher, right? Well, for him, apparently. For everyone else, the temperature was a relatively balmy 80 degrees F.

And no sneakers either!

Speaking of government and what is or isn't appropriate attire, there's word from the Netherlands of a new ban on wearing white socks to work for employees of the finance ministry. They "transgress the limits of decent dress behavior," a spokeswoman explained. While there are no sock police, she said, "people are expected to dress in accordance with their function" - and that means dark blue or gray suits.

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Selling a car yourself: poll finds it can drive you wild

Ever given any thought to selling your car yourself instead of going the trade-in route on a new vehicle? If the results of a new online poll conducted by the CarMax Inc. national retailer of used vehicles are any indication, you'd best prepare for a stressful experience. The survey - "What is the worst part of selling a vehicle yourself?" - attracted more than 3,400 responses, the largest percentage of whom said they found the process took far longer than anticipated. The top 10 sources of stress, according to the survey:

Length of time involved 31%
Lower than expected price 17%
Negotiation process 15%
Getting the buyer to show up (tie) Buyer calls back with complaints 8%
Keeping the car clean at all times 7%
Buyer decides to back out 6%
Late-night phone calls (tie) Advertising cost more than anticipated 3%
Prospective buyers arriving unannounced 2%
- PRNewswire