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An exercise game

You need to exercise. You'd rather play video games. Do both, says Life Fitness Inc. The company will unveil a version of the Lifecycle exercise bike called "Exertainment" that was developed with video game giant Nintendo.

The bike, which will retail for about $1,000, is meant to divert you from the boredom some experience during exercise.

The rider supplies a game machine, punches in personalized information and starts pedaling. Success at the games that follow depends on how consistently the rider is able to stay within a target heart rate.

A lighter side

Grace McGartland doesn't have a gray flannel approach to management. McGartland, a consultant, encourages executives to bring balloons or toys into board meetings or to pass out crayons at sales meetings so employees can draw their ideas. Or, she suggests, dance on your way to your next meeting. McGartland, who has formulated a concept she calls "Thunderbolt Thinking," says too many companies are on automatic pilot. By doing something different, even very off-beat, "you create shifts in thinking," she says.

A jolt of support

It's not true that nobody likes electric cars. Researchers at the University of California at Davis surveyed 100 owners of electric cars and found they were happy with their wheels although they needed frequent charges. "People are learning for the first time how little driving range they need on a daily basis," said researcher Kenneth Kurani.

Ride that pony

This year's nostalgia fad may well be the 1964 Ford Mustang, a classic among car buffs. With the 30th anniversary of the Mustang's introduction this year, Ford is using the car to advertise the 1994 model. The 1964 version is hard to come by and expensive. But Recoton, a company that makes videocassette rewinders, has a model featuring a 1964 Mustang replica. For $35 you get working headlights and high-speed revolutions.

Changes in Japan

While many Japanese women fill the traditional role of homemaker, others, particularly college grads and those with grown children, are increasingly going into the job market. Changes in society, including the rising cost of living and less gender stereotyping in the workplace, have drawn more women to work, according to Penn State's Edwin Herr and Agnes Watanabe of Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo. The professors say the government has responded by providing counseling for women and helping them pick jobs.

Business drama

The British Broadcasting Corp. will beam a soap opera to Russia to show how the free market works, according to Bloomberg Business News. It is part of a package of programs the United Kingdom government says is part of "a Marshall Plan of the mind" to boost free market ideology in Russia.

_ Compiled from reports by the Associated Press and Bloomberg Business News.

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