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The beat goes on

Do you play an instrument or sing?...

Do you play an instrument or sing? You're not alone:

The percentage of 8- to 12-year-olds who participate in music activities:

- Play an instrument, 30 percent

- Sing in a chorus or choir at school or church, 24 percent

- Play in a school band, 14 percent

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- Play in a musical group outside school, 2 percent

Sources: Harris Interactive

P.U.-Litzer Prizes awarded for 2003

The Web site www.dissidentvoice.org recently announced the winners of the P.U.-Litzer Prizes for 2003, which are less desirable in journalism circles than Pulitzer Prizes.

The prizes were established more than a decade ago to recognize the "stinkiest" media performances of the year.

Some of this year's winners are:

Liberating Iraq Prize

While interviewing a military analyst as U.S. jet bombers headed to Baghdad on the first day of the Iraq war, NBC anchor Tom Brokaw (above) declared, "Admiral McGinn, one of the things that we don't want to do is to destroy the infrastructure of Iraq, because in a few days we're going to own that country."

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Coddling Donald Prize

CBS's Lesley Stahl, ABC's Peter Jennings and others interviewed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld the day news broke that Saddam Hussein had been captured, but failed to ask about Rumsfeld's cordial 1983 meeting with Hussein in Baghdad on behalf of the Reagan administration that opened up strong diplomatic and military ties between the United States and the dictator that lasted through seven years of his worst brutality.

Military Groupie Prize

Katie Couric of NBC's "Today" show said on April 3, in the midst of the invasion, "Well, Commander Thompson, thanks for talking with us at this very early hour out there. And I just want you to know, I think Navy SEALs rock."

Clear It With the Pentagon Award

A month after the invasion of Iraq began, CNN executive Eason Jordan admitted on his network that CNN had allowed U.S. military officials to help screen its on-air analysts.

Lame jokes du jour

Q. How do you catch a unique rabbit?

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A. Unique up on it.

Q. How do you catch a tame rabbit?

A. Tame way, unique up on it.

To contact The Rail, send an e-mail to features editor Dean Rhodes at drhodes@forumcomm.com and he'll forward it, or click on the Valley R&R icon at In-Forum.com

Today's best bet

Gershwin on Broadway, 7:30 p.m., La Rose Saxon and William Brown perform with pianist Leon Bates to perform favorites from George Gershwin.

Hansen Theatre, MSUM campus, Moorhead

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