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By Teresa Huang

It's IAP! Hip hip hooray! Time to do all those little things you never did fall term. I'm not talking about cleaning out your inbox. I'm talking about exploring Boston, seeing the latest Julia Roberts flick on video, learning how to make Western omelets, and shopping! Unless you're taking 10.001 or 6.270, you have no excuse for not attending all the seminars you've circled on your IAP Guide and using the rest of your time to have fun. You still haven't seen The Full Monty? Tsk tsk. Get to it.

Hershey Kisses are for wimps. If you're feeling plagued by a chocolate craving, indulge it with gusto. Witness the amazing and creative ways Pastry Chef Gina Cosentino uses 50 pounds of chocolate at the Le Meridien Hotel on 250 Franklin Street in Boston. Visit the hotel's Cafi Fleuri any Saturday between 1 and 3 pm and behold perhaps the biggest all-you-can-eat chocolate dessert buffet in existence. Among the treasures are chocolate hazelnut crepes, chocolate raspberry mousse cake, orange chocolate tarts, and the hotel's signature chocolate croissant pudding. Admission is expensive ($15.50 per person) but the chocolate bar is sure to satisfy your chocolate cravings until next millennium.

Malls of the world, Part 2. If you've checked out the shopping centers listed in the last Scoop you might want to move on to other malls in the area. A good first stop is the Burlington Mall. If you like leather products, shop away at stores like Enzo Angiolini, Coach, Wilson's Leather, Sheepskin Leather, and much more. Visit the Laura Ashley store if you want to make your boring room seem more cozy, or stock up on electronics at Tweeter, Etc. Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., the Burlington Mall features over 170 specialty stores and restaurants and can be reached by taking the red line to Alewife and taking the #350 bus directly to the mall's entrance. Happy spending!

We scream for Ben & Jerry's. Don't feel guilty about breaking your no-ice-cream New Year's resolution, because your transgression will help others. For every pint of Ben & Jerry's you eat from now until June 30, 1998, Ben, Jerry, and Yahoo! will donate 10 cents to NetDay, a grass roots volunteer initiative that helps connect schools in the U.S. to the Internet. If you send in the pint container's lid you'll also be entered in the Lids for Kids Contest, where you could win a lifetime supply of Ben & Jerry's, a trip to Vermont, or one of over 25,000 prizes. If you pride yourself on your ice cream will power but still want to enter the contest, you can visit the Ben & Jerry's Web site at Happy ice cream eating!

Groovy, baby, yeah! When you and your friends walk into a video store this IAP, head for the new releases rack and grab Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, starring Mike Myers as both secret agent man Austin Powers and his arch nemesis Doctor Evil. Elizabeth Hurley adds a model performance, and cameos by Tom Arnold, Carrie Fisher, and Burt Bacharach are terrific. It was released in theaters in 1997, but has a certain trashy 80's humor to it. Case in point: the Fembots. Austin Powers is hysterical and perfect for watching with large groups of groovy friends. BBC Peace!

Skates of Gold. We're less than 30 days from the opening of the Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan and the competition that decides who will skate for the gold on the U.S. figure skating team is currently taking place in Philadelphia, PA. Watch live coverage of the men's competition on ABC (WCVB-5) on Thursday, January 8 at 8:00 p.m. and the ladies competition on Saturday, January 10 at 8:00 p.m. . Tara Lipinski and Michelle Kwan are already hoping to challenge each other for Olympic gold, but this event will decide whether or not they will skate in Japan at all. If watching figure skating competitions stresses you out, relax with pros Katarina Witt, Kristi Yamaguchi, Scott Hamilton, Paul Wylie, Kurt Browning, and Ekaterina Gordeeva in Discover Card's "Stars on Ice" exhibition, airing Saturday, January 10 at 2:00 p.m. on NBC (WHDH-7).