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Women at workA new museum opening this...


Women at work

A new museum opening this month in Dallas chronicles the American woman and her evolution from second-class citizen to societal force.

The Women's Museum: An Institute for the Future, in association with the Smithsonian Institution, celebrates the strides women have made by detailing their illustrious history since the country's founding.

The museum's signature icon is an Electronic Quilt (right), a 30-foot-tall matrix of electronic "patches" of still and moving images, quotes and symbolic colors. Other exhibits include tributes to unforgettable women, women in literature, funny women, athletic women and women who made a difference through activism.

For more information, visit the museum online at www.thewomensmuseum.org, or call 877-915-0860.

Building on advice from the masters

If you fancy yourself a home improvement expert like Bob Vila but have never actually had the opportunity to improve a home, here's your chance to see if you've got what it takes.

The "Festival of the Building Arts," scheduled for Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the National Building Museum in Washington, is an interactive event that encourages novices to take tools in hand and work side-by-side with master bricklayers, iron workers and paper hangers.

The event is free, and even those who are handy with a hammer and other tools will be able to pick up a few pointers from the pros. The National Building Museum is at 401 F St. N.W. For more information, call 202-272-2448.

No chance of boredom

If you thought taking a cruise was all about shuffleboard and midnight buffets, you haven't seen Royal Caribbean's two new ships. Both the Voyager of the Seas (launched last November) and its sister ship, the Explorer of the Seas (making its debut next month), will sail the Caribbean, but it's not the itinerary that sets them apart -- it's the amenities.

Both ships feature an ice-skating rink, 200-foot-tall rock-climbing wall, inline skating track, 15,000-square-foot fitness center, a full-sized basketball court, nine-hole golf course, 1,350-seat theater and a low-calorie menu.

The ships have weekend departures year-round from Miami. Packages begin at $1,199. For information, call 800-327-6700, or visit Royal Caribbean online at www.rccl.com.

A friendly bedfellow

No matter how freshly washed or inspected they are, there's still something a little unnerving about sleeping on hotel sheets that have accommodated many others before you. The "DreamSack" offers a portable, compact solution.

Made entirely of silk, the sack acts as a liner and lightweight barrier between you and whatever. Just slip into it and then between the sheets if it's cooler, or use it alone in warmer weather, when camping or napping on long flights. When you're done, the DreamSack rolls up to roughly the size of a thick pair of socks and tucks away into its own drawstring bag.

Prices range from $55 to $130 depending on size. To order, call DreamSack at 800-670-7661, or go to www.dreamsack.com.

-- Tricia Bishop

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