Game time!
Your guide to a super Sunday

On Sunday, Feb. 3, at 6:30 p.m. at the University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale, Ariz. (or, for those of us in TV land, on FOX) someone will flip a coin and Super Bowl XLII will start.

The streets outdoors in New England will be quiet — indoors, people will huddle around TVs to cheer on the Patriots (or to heckle the commercials that could cost $2.6 million per 30-second spot, according to a story earlier this month on CNN). Whether you’re a die-hard sports fan or just a lover of spectacle, this Sunday offers everybody the promise of super fun.

People: An economist explains
By Brian Early

Q:With many economists worried about an impending recession, there’s much discussion about stimulus packages. What exactly is a stimulus package? How is it supposed to work?
A stimulus package is meant to stimulate activities in the economy. ... For example, consumer spending tends to be a strong driver of the economy. Consumer spending for goods and services generate a demand for those services and goods. They have to be produced, which leads to greater business activity — employment and so on. While we don’t know the details of the stimulus package that’s being discussed, it would appear that the basis of that package is a way to get more money in the hands of consumers and business. It’s probably going to take the form of a tax rebate of some sort, the idea being that the consumer gets a tax rebate or effectively pays less taxes — that is more money in the consumer pockets that the consumer would have available to spend, and the spending by the consumer stimulates activity in the marketplace.

Theater: Elvis fans and ghost stories
By Heidi Masek

Two very different musicals, both involving Palace Theatre actors, open Friday, Feb. 8. The Palace’s professional “Broadway in New Hampshire Series” continues with All Shook Up. It’s an entertaining escape that ties Elvis tunes together with a loose plot. StageCoach, a year-old community company, is going the Edwardian ghost story route with The Secret Garden.

Food: Celebrate Mardi Gras
By Linda A. Odum

Mardi Gras, this year on Feb. 5, is the annual ritual of excess. Also known as Fat Tuesday, it is traditionally the last chance for revelry and heavy food and drink consumption before the start of Lent and the holy weeks that lead to Easter.

Longshots: Foxboro lads earn pats on the back, and old Celtics mystique makes sense
by Dave Long

It took me a long time to fully understand the blank faces on basketball fans under (gasp) 30 anytime I say something about the Celtics mystique. It seems so natural to me everyone will just understand about them because since the first day I started following sports they were always great and it’s just in my sports DNA. But it’s been an astonishing 15-plus years since they’ve been anything close to those Celtics. So I’ve finally gotten it through my brain that the younger folks can’t truly grasp what it is to always expect your team to wriggle off the hook no matter how big the jam. And while it didn’t always happen, it didn’t diminish the expectation that from Cousy all the way to Bird someone in green would always find a way. In retrospect, it’s the most assured feeling I’ve ever had as a sports fan.

Techie: Roll on up
By John “jaQ” Andrews

Ask any camper: if you can roll something up, it’s easier to take with you. What works for sleeping bags and tents must surely work for computer accessories, right?

January 24, 2008
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