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Shannon Rupp

VANCOUVER, B.C. — When choreographer Crystal Pite, 36, talks about the work she is bringing to Seattle's On the Boards this week, she can't help but dance in her chair.

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Homeowners in the Lower Mainland cities surrounding Vancouver are reminded of the real cost of their beautiful waterfront views as they prepare for the spring runoff on the Fraser River, which has the potential to cause the worst floods since the 1948 disaster that predated the dikes.

Then again, it could be a false alarm for the area, as it was in 1999 when cool weather allowed for a slow melt of the snow-packed Fraser Basin.

The worst-case scenario would be a week-long heat wave followed by heavy rains during the crucial mid-May to late-June period.

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VANCOUVER — Mark Ainley is giving the expression “taking it at face value” a whole new meaning.The Vancouver man teaches workshops on how to divine someone's character, intelligence and values by his or her visage: People with higher eyebrows are reserved. Low eyebrows signal someone outgoing. Upturned noses suggest gullibility; downward pointing noses imply a critical temperament.

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VANCOUVER — For anyone steeped in old-media thinking, evidence that the on-line encyclopedia Wikipedia is an unreliable source can be found in a Vancouver publisher's entry about himself.

Kevin Potvin writes and publishes a weekly print tabloid called The Republic of East Vancouver, full of inflammatory opinion pieces reminiscent of the ideological rants of 18th-century pamphleteers. It claims a circulation of 6,000. Yet, according to Wikipedia, Mr. Potvin is a colossus.

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The point at which sex and housekeeping collide.

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Slap the monkey? Slap the editor!

 Pierre Trudeau said famously that the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation and, to this, let me add: that sentiment should go double for news media.

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Some say religion has no place in science. Proponents of theories like intelligent design are trying to negotiate a reconciliation.

On paper, the curiously named Centre for Cultural Renewal exists "to explain the importance of religions to culture and the importance of culture to religions".

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Debbie Krull knows exactly what poverty looks like: a pot of pasta infested with maggots writhing in the boiling water. "This is so gross; is it okay to say this?" asks the 31-year-old mother of two as she brushes a long strand of brown hair out of her eyes and back into her dishevelled ponytail. "When I looked at the dried pasta, I found the larvae were right in it-it was past due."

"It's not the food bank's fault," Krull adds quickly. "They do the best they can. But grocery stores donate food that is past due that they can't sell."

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This city's best-known women's shelter appears to be surprisingly devoid of drama, at least outside of the law courts. 

Vancouver Rape Relief Society's solid prewar house, nestled in a never-disclosed neighbourhood, is warm and welcoming. The floors have the glow of wood well-buffed by thousands of socks, the rooms are clean and bright, and the furniture, although simple hand-me-downs, has been carefully chosen for solidity and comfort. 

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If the phrase decorating on a budget conjures horrifying images of glue guns, marabou lampshades, and fake wood grain, you've been watching too much Trading Spaces.

The techniques shown on those guerrilla decorating shows--the ones that use ordinary objects like cardboard and seashells to inflict maximum damage on victims' homes--have given budget decorating a bad name.

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