Times Staff Writer

Jurassic Presidents Department: Here's a potential plot for a horror film: Abraham Lincoln gets cloned from a pen. According to Consumer Reports magazine, a company called Fahrney's Pens Inc. has created a $1,650 fountain pen that contains a copy of the deceased president's DNA. Apparently, Honest Abe's "genetic essence" was replicated from a preserved sample of his hair, then crystallized and embedded in a chunk of amethyst on the cap of each pen.

Next up: A $1,650 dress with a President Clinton amethyst broach.


Aging Cartoon Characters Bureau: Foghorn Leghorn turned 52 on Monday. And Speedy Gonzales blew out 45 candles over the weekend. Speedy's birthday was marred by protests from Latino activists, who said his oversized sombrero and trademark shouts of "Arriba, arriba" reinforce demeaning stereotypes. However, comic Jackie Guerra told Wireless Flash News Service that Speedy, nevertheless, deserves credit for lasting longer than any Latino show business character except Ricardo Montalban.


Idiosyncratic Musicians Inc.: We have decided to become popular rock stars so we can make unreasonable and insane demands for backstage goodies, such as free Abraham Lincoln fountain pens for our roadies. Our decision was influenced by a Rolling Stone article on weird backstage requests:

* Sarah McLachlan insists on 12 Mexican prayer candles, several bottles of chewable echinacea and acidophilus tablets, plus three bottles of shower gel in different scents.

* The Indigo Girls demand 36 pre-washed bath towels, along with organically grown fruits and vegetables.

* Ozzy Osbourne requests four multigrain buns and a boned, steamed fish with no butter or oil.

* The band Limp Bizkit asks for a case of Budweiser and Corona beer for each band member, plus two packs of Hanes crew neck T-shirts, a small stuffed animal and a pair of silk panties, size 5-6.


Slices and Dices Department: Today's award for cutting-edge advertising goes to a pair of New York rabbis who advertise their circumcision services on refrigerator magnets. According to New York magazine, Rabbi Yehoshua Krohn's magnets display a dove, a yarmulke-wearing infant and the number for his toll-free "Bris Line," (800) BABY-BOY. Another magnetized rabbi, David Kedmi, says of his refrigerator trinkets: "You never know where they'll end up. Even if people think that they may not need the number when they take it, they never know if it might come in handy."


History Lesson of the Day: There's an old saying that those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it, which is why we're reminding everyone that 60 years ago last week, Northwestern University awarded an honorary college degree to ventriloquist dummy Charlie McCarthy.


Best Supermarket Tabloid Headline: "Amazing Dog Levitates in Mid-Air Every Time Owner Uses Vacuum Cleaner!" (Weekly World News)

Scientists are baffled but suspect the phenomenon involves "some form of static electricity."


* Roy Rivenburg can be reached by e-mail at

Unpaid Informant: Wireless Flash News

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