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Loose Change

STAR SEATING: They may not all take home an Oscar, but the winners, nominees and presenters at tonight's Academy Awards all will take home a La-Z-Boy. A certificate for one of four styles of the recliner chair is included in the gift basket traditionally given to Oscar participants. This year is the first a La-Z-Boy is included.

FANGS A LOT: A fangmaker who sued his former business partners for selling a knockoff product has been awarded triple damages and interest exceeding $2.4-million. A judge says federal law allows triple damages in cases, such as the one against Ram Southwest of New Mexico, of willful patent infringement and unfair profiteering. Foothills Distributing of Boulder, Colo., sells its trademark plastic Custom Dracula Fangs in small, coffin-shape boxes.

PICKUP POPULARITY: About 10 percent of full-size pickup and 20 percent of compact pickup buyers in the United States are women, according to AutoPacific, a consultancy in Tustin, Calif.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Louisiana State University instructor David Shields offers this real-world tip to MBA students: Don't eat colored foods at receptions or business lunches. Nobody wants to offer a job to someone with blueberry stained teeth.

$37-MILLION A DAY: That's the cost in lost productivity if workers spent about 10 minutes each day chatting at the office water cooler, according to outplacement company Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

_ Compiled by Cathy Keim from Times wires

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