Your week


Some people chew sugar-free gum as a weight-loss strategy, but does it work? A recent online study in the journal Obesity finds that chewing gum daily may have no effect on losing weight.

The eight-week study included 201 overweight or obese adults; half were told to chew gum daily for at least 90 minutes at specific times throughout the day. The others did not chew gum. Both groups were given nutritional information and told to continue their regular activity programs.

By the end of the study there were no significant changes in weight or body mass index in either group.

In the study, which was funded by a grant from the Wrigley Science Institute, the authors noted that longer studies may be needed to see if gum chewing has any “likely subtle effects” on body weight and other markers of weight loss and health.

» Find more health and fitness tips in Tuesday’s Today section.


If your clothes dryer takes an hour or longer to dry a load of jeans and towels, the problem might lie in the venting rather than the appliance.

Enter dryer vent cleaning. It’s a niche cleaning service that hardly existed a decade ago. Moistened lint collects on the walls of the vent pipe, reducing efficiency by up to 40 percent. A cleaner removes the spitball-like lint with a vacuum, compressed air and brushes.

Dryers working too hard to “breathe” get very hot on the top and cause clothes to be sizzling to the touch when done. A properly running dryer should take only 35 to 40 minutes. Clean vents are also safer. Each year more than 15,000 house fires are attributed to neglected dryer vents, according to Consumer Reports.

» Find more home and garden ideas in Sunday’s Today section.


A garlicky fish casserole takes its inspiration from French bistro style cooking, by way of the Mediterranean region. For the recipe, see page C5.

» Find more recipes and restaurant news in Wednesday’s Food section.


Here’s what’s on the schedule for this week:

On CD (Tuesday)

Charlotte Gainsbourg, “Stage Whisper”

Anthony Hamilton, “Back to Love”

Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band, “Live at the Iveagh Gardens”

Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa, “Mac & Devin Go to High School”

On DVD (Tuesday)

“Kung Fu Panda II”

“Fright Night”

“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

In theaters (Friday)

“Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked”

“Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”


“Fear Factor”: After a six-year hiatus, the stunt reality show returns. (Today, 8 p.m., NBC)

“Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir”: “American Idol” runner-up David Archuleta joins the famed singing group for this year’s performance. (Tuesday, 8 p.m., KCDT/10 p.m. KSPS)

“Christmas in Washington”: Cee Lo Green, Justin Bieber and the Band Perry are among the performers. (Friday, 8 p.m., TNT)

“Saturday Night Live”: Jimmy Fallon returns to his old stamping grounds as host. (Saturday, 11:30 p.m., NBC)

On stage

“Young Frankenstein”: Best of Broadway, INB Performing Arts Center, opens Thursday

Singing Nuns of St. Michael: Wednesday-Thursday, the Bing Crosby Theater

Spokane Symphony Holiday Pops: Saturday-Sunday, The Fox

Around town

Green Bluff Holiday Memories: Daily until Christmas, Green Bluff

Riverfront Park Ice Palace: Tuesdays-Sundays, Riverfront Park Pavillion

Grinch-mas Storytime and Craft: Saturday, Auntie’s at the Square

» Find a full arts and entertainment roundup in the Thursday and Friday Today sections.

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