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NUTHIN' UP MY SLEEVE!: A cow moose rests Tuesday in 3 feet of snow beside the Logan River just west of Tony Grove. / Photo by Mike Sweeney

Today's word on journalism

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Help Wanted: U.S. Defense Department Seeks Better PR Officers

"Our enemies have skillfully adapted to fighting wars in today's media age, but . . . our country has not adapted. For the most part, the U.S. government still functions as a 'five and dime' store in an eBay world."

--U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, on why al Qaeda is winning hearts and minds, in speech to U.S. Council on Foreign Relation (Thanks to alert WORDster Mark Larson) WORD Note: The WORD will take the next week off for Spring Break, sleeping in and seeking wisdom. Return: 3/20/06

Tired of boring Valentine gifts? Add some spice!

SWEETS FOR THE SWEETIE? Here are some more creative ideas instead. / Photo by Julie Garcia

By Julie Garcia

February 8, 2006 | Every Valentine's Day it's the same old, standard, boring gifts: candy, flowers, and stuffed animals.

Hardly any thought is put into the day of love anymore. Valentine's Day has been stamped as a Grade A, Hallmark, money-making festivity. Perhaps people are just stumped on what to get their mate. Perhaps, they don't want to go to the trouble of spending tons of money on the holiday that has been dubbed superficial and corny.

Nonetheless, V-Day gifts need an extreme creativity makeover. Here are some economic ideas to help renovate the Valentine gifts you give this year.

Give the Gift of Life

No, you don't need to go out and donate blood, unless you want to of course. Instead, show your lover how much you care by giving that special someone a beta or goldfish. Purchase a bowl and some colorful rocks so the fish can have a lovely home. Then, cut out a heart shape and tape it to the front of the bowl. Make sure you write something heart-felt on the paper like, "You're the only fish in the sea for me." Sure, it's cheesy, but it's sure to make your Valentine smile.

Ye Old Book of Compliments

If you don't have a cent in your pocket, you can still give this gift on V-Day. Of course, you could make the gift fancier by using glitter, stencils, paint, higher quality paper, etc. Write down a list of compliments for your significant other. Make it into a book, so your guy or girl can pick it up anytime he or she is feeling blue. It's a real heart-warmer all year ėround.

25-Cent Ring Fest

You don't have to be engaged to give each other rings. Find a quarter machine that has a bunch of rings in it. Then, have each of you buy one. Surprise each other with the tacky rings you got. It's cheap, fun, and a great way to pop the question. Note to reader: You probably shouldn't ask the other person to marry you if you're only going to spend 25 cents on the engagement ring.

Love Mix

Download tons of tunes that remind you of your relationship with your significant other. Compile the songs onto a CD and give it a romantic title. Give it to your man or woman. Then, dance the night away to the lovey-dovey music.

101 Reasons Card

Get a poster and fold it in half. Make your honey a huge card with 101 reasons why you love him or her inside. Decorate and personalize it with pictures and art. If you take the time to make it look amazing, it'll make your valentine swoon.

Relationship Collage

Make a collage of pictures from your relationship and frame it. On the back of the collage, write a poem or letter to your loved one. Red Coupons Make a red book of coupons inviting your guy or girl to redeem the coupon for whatever the coupon says. The coupons could say things like, "Redeem this coupon for a free dinner" or "Redeem this coupon for a free back massage.

14 Days of Love

Are you not too artistic or creative? Do you not have the time to make your gift? Buy 14 different small gifts and give one to your sweetie every day until Valentine's Day. It takes less time, but it might take more money. In any case, it's uber romantic.

Give 'em a Heart Attack

Cut out a lot of heart shapes from different colored paper. Then when your boyfriend or girlfriend isn't home, fill their room with all of the hearts. When they see the explosion of paper hearts, they will have a heart attack!

For more ideas on what you can give that special someone you can go to There are hundreds of gift and date ideas for you to enjoy.


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