That's life

Dad is hot, Kobe is not

Think celebrities and athletes are the top role models for teens? Think again. According to a new survey from Junior Achievement, parents were No. 1, with 28 percent of the responses, followed by teachers with 11 percent. It was the second year in a row that parents were named best role models.

Another surprise: Celebrities who rate well with teens - such as Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey - still trailed far behind Mom and Dad, with just 4 percent of the vote each.

Who needs the mall?

Online shopping shows no sign of losing steam. In fact, statistics from Orca Communication show that in the next five years, the number of US online shoppers will double to 132 million. People with children are more likely to make Web purchases than people without children. Sixty-three percent of online shoppers are women.

Short course on American eating

The folks at Parade magazine recently surveyed Americans about what they eat. What they learned is that in one year the average person consumes far more flour and cereal products (2,020 pounds) than vegetables (421 pounds), fruit (298 pounds), dairy products (279 pounds), or red meat and poultry (186 pounds). Another finding was that 49 percent of Americans dine out at least once a week, and 48 percent celebrate birthdays by eating out.

Cellphone Manners

Cellphones are convenient, but their use in public is controversial. Kate Spade, in her book "Manners" (Simon & Schuster, $20), suggests defusing the situation by following some common-sense "rules":

• When you enter a restaurant or museum, set the phone on vibrate - or turn it off.

• Keep your voice low at all times when speaking on a cellphone.

• Don't bore others with "secondhand chat" about personal or professional problems or financial woes.

• Don't swear or conduct an argument on a cellphone in public.

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