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Wednesday, 28 June 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

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Pictures of the Week

Every Friday CNN features on its Web page a small link to Offbeat Photos and Time’s Pictures of the Week. Sometimes funny, sometimes touching, but always interesting, the pictures carve out a little slice of the world made for sharing.

Take a few minutes of your lunch break to go online and check them out. This past week’s Offbeat Photos featured shots from the World Cup, while Time traveled the world from Stonehenge to East Timor, where Associated Press photographer Ed Wray captured a woman arranging mosquito nets in a refugee camp.

zero 7, the garden

zero 7 came on my radar screen with the soundtrack to Zach Braff’s “Garden State,” which featured work from their album Simple Things. The band’s newest release expounds on the funky, ethereal sound created by creative instrumentation and lead singer Sia’s sultry vocals. This go around pulls from more varied influences, with Stevie Wonder-like soul on “Throw It All Away,” and the sing-a-long Dream Theater meets Nelly Furtado tune “The Pageant of the Bizarre.” Other notables include “You’re My Flame,” and the Latin-rhythm social commentary “Today.” All in all a must have album.

Project Runway

I’ve gotten so sick of those blasted “reality” shows that boil down to stupid human tricks, as a panel of attractive but too dumb to live 20-somethings compete to see who can eat the grossest thing in the least amount of time. Without losing the captivating drama — much like that of watching a car crash — Bravo’s Project Runway is a reality battle that actually forces its contestants to display some talent. Yes, it’s a fashion show and no, I usually wouldn’t give two flips about the world of high design, but it’s fun to watch the creative process in action and see how subjective determining who’s “in” and who’s “out” — as host Heidi Klum would say — really is. The new season starts July 12.

— Sarah Kucharski

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