Etc...

No longboat rowing required

Looking for an unconventional way to spend this coming summer? If you hurry, there may still be a show biz role for you as a Viking. No, not one of those beefy guys in the purple and white pro football uniforms . These particular Vikings are needed for a living history museum that has become one of Norway's more popular tourist attractions. According to the director of the facility 45 miles south of Oslo, visitors don't just want to see exhibits, they expect "face-to-face encounters." The problem is, Vikings have been extinct for 1,000 years. So, he said, "We have to find people wanting ... to learn their cooking, clothes customs, and crafts." That will not, however, involve wearing a helmet with horns sticking out the sides, which historians maintain the ancient Norsemen never did. Oh, one other thing: Presumably, your prospects for one of the 50 or so jobs will be better if you speak Norwegian.

Movie prices: Not out of sight yet, but getting there

The advent of making motion pictures available on videocassette and DVD has helped to keep ticket prices at theaters from going through the ceiling. Still, people who only occasionally go out to a movie can experience the equivalent of sticker shock when they arrive at the box office. According to the National Association of Theatre Owners, a trade group, the average cost of admission was under $3 (actually $2.94) as recently as 1982. Now it's more than double that - and counting (and please don't ask what has happened to the cost of a tub of buttered popcorn). A look at how the average ticket price has increased over the past 10 years:

2004 $6.21
2003 6.03
2002 5.80
2001 5.65
2000 5.39
1999 5.06
1998 4.69
1997 4.59
1996 4.42
1995 4.35
- Motion Picture Association of America

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