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Bananarama Smell-o-Vision

We bought some bananas at the grocery store. They had stickers on them informing us that Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest was coming out on DVD two days later. So Mother Nature has become an ad flack, a marketing shill. What's next, corporate logos shaved into the sides of puppies? We ate the bananas. Somehow, they didn't taste right. We didn't rent the movie.

Tops in Caffeine

We got a message in The Inlander's MySpace account from a 21-year-old woman in Massachusetts named Christy:

"hey i was hoping you could help me. i was looking for information about baristas and the male for of that word. i live in MA and i heard that Spokane has the best esspresso makers in the country ... a lady who used to go to the shop named sharonn told me about you. is this making n e sence at all?"

Yes, Christy, that's right: Spokane (not Seattle, but Spokane) has the nation's best baristas. Among the states, meanwhile, Massachusetts ranks 50th in grammar.

South Hill Artistry

Check out the work of local talent at an arts and crafts sale at 1717 E. 38th Ave. on Friday, Dec. 8, from 2-6 pm and on Saturday from 10 am-3 pm. Call 624-3457.

Our Lady of Endless Training

For hour after hour, they swim, bike and run -- granted, triathlon may not be the absolute pinnacle of spectator sports. But this Saturday, Dec. 9, from 1-3 pm, NBC will include a Spokane angle in its coverage of the pinnacle of triathlon, October's Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. This Spokane woman isn't among the race winners, but she did manage to set a world record en route to finishing the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run. That's because Sister Madonna Buder is a little older than your average triathlete -- 76, to be exact.

Laugh at the people riding and running around in skimpy bathing suits all you want -- but let's see you cover 140 miles. In one day. When you're 76.

Concerto of the Obscure

John Marshall and Lynne Feller-Marshall are first-chair musicians with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra. They're married. They like to play together (musically -- really, people). Problem is, in all of recorded history, there are only 89 pieces composed specifically for their instruments, the cello and the bassoon. What to do? Form a group called Paradox, release a CD called Soak, include some photos of yourselves at a hot springs resort, and revel in the fact that some guy named Mozart actually wrote a Sonata for Bassoon and Cello. Visit or call 624-1200.

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