Originally created 02/11/01

Pocket change



WORK CLOTHES

Sartorial norms at the office apparently are shifting again, which means it may be time to trade in those khakis for some dress pants.

Allen Konopacki, president of Incomm International, a Chicago-based trade show research/sales training group, said the "dress-down" style in many businesses just degenerated into a rumpled, unkempt look.

"Customers can no longer relate to the dress-down look as being casual - they look at it as being sloppy," he said, adding that ties are now familiar fixtures around the necks of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison, former champions of the open-collar style.

"It will only be a short period of time before others follow suit."

Another reason for the change? Said Mr. Konopacki: "Certain people just don't look good in casual."

FREE STUFF

Fifty years ago, a battle for freedom raged between North and South Korea. The history of those times are recorded through military campaign maps and photographs, available in a free, 72-page booklet from the Korea National Tourism Organization.

The 50th Anniversary of the Korean War booklet also lists tour companies offering reunion trips for veterans and outlines commemorative events scheduled through July 2003. Call (800) 868-7567.

FAMILY FUN

Viva Resorts, with members spread among the hot spots of the Dominican Republic, Grand Bahama Island and Mexico's Playa del Carmen and Puerto Vallarta, offer families an attractive price on getaways. Through April 14, all-inclusive rates range from $120 to $210 per adult per night, depending on the resort's location.

Rates for at least one location - the Puerto Vallarta resort - are even lower the week of April 15. Unfortunately, that's a week or so after Augusta-area schools close for Master's week.

Vallarta's all-inclusive means accommodations; breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, wine and cocktails; planned activities and fitness programs; nonmotorized water sports and lessons; nightly entertainment; and even a special club for children. Call (800) 898-9968 or visit www.vivaresorts.com.

FAVORITE THINGS

Greeting cards, soup, breakfast cereal and a gastrointestinal relief product ranked among the most popular packaged goods bought online, reports a study by Reston, Va.-based PC Data and Information Resources Inc. of Chicago.

Americangreetings.com took the No. 1 spot, followed by hallmark.com and candystand.com.

Kraftfoods.com, Imodium.com and kelloggs.com were on the list, as were nabisco.com, kodak.com and chunky.com.

Tom Koleno, vice president of Information Resources' e-Ventures division, said Chunky soup was a "seasonal product," and noted that many of the other sites saw a holiday upsurge.

As for the appearance of Imodium in the rankings, a spokeswoman for the companies said the medicine made the list because of "a lot of travel-related problems."

SHOOT THE MOON

NASA has released a photograph of the moon taken by the Stardust spacecraft. The photo, taken when the spacecraft flew by Earth on Jan. 15, shows that recent efforts succeeded in clearing its lens of contaminants and improving the clarity of images.

Stardust is on a mission to photograph Comet Wild 2 in January 2004. The NASA team expects it to capture images of the comet's surface that will be 10 times better than previous photos of comet nuclei. Stardust also will collect samples of dust from the comet's tail for analysis in laboratories.