It's the best and brightest meets the otherwise endowed

What you'll pretend to be talking about: Smart people invade Scandinavia. The Nobel Prize winners were announced a few months ago, but the award ceremonies take place this week in Stockholm and in Oslo. It was a good year for Americans, who won in four of the six Nobel categories, our biggest sweep since 1976. (Today)

What your 13-year-old cousin will be talking about: America's most recent Idol. Taylor Hicks, winner of the 2006 season of "American Idol," finally puts out an album. Earlier this year, Hicks told reporters he was developing a new sound called "wamp," which he described as "swamp meets boogie, meets jazz, meets hip-hop." (Tuesday)

What you should be talking about: The season finale of "The Biggest Loser." The sweetest, most dramatic season yet of "The Biggest Loser" comes to an end this week. Given that many of the formerly obese contestants have been given back their chance for a full, healthy life, the money part seems almost irrelevant. But this is America, so there's also a cash prize. (Wednesday)

What you won't need to talk about anymore: Why the heck is it spelled "Happyness"? You've seen the billboards, you've wondered. A publicist says simply, "It's a plot point," but an Internet search reveals that the movie is based on a memoir with the same misspelling in the title, which comes from the name of a day-care center the author considered putting his son into (and nixed because it couldn't get "happiness" right). (Friday)

What somebody might talk about someday, maybe: "Stacked: The Complete Series." This Emmy-nominated (for outstanding art direction) series depicted what happened when a busty beauty (Pamela Anderson) got a job at a bookstore. Madness! Mayhem! Double entendre! And now it's available on DVD, just in time for the holidays (and Pam's most recent divorce). Enjoy! (Tuesday)

-- Deborah Netburn

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