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Blonds finally taken off the endangered species list

Here’s one less thing for you to worry about: It’s untrue that a World Health Organization study concluded that blonds are likely to become extinct within 200 years.

The San Fernando Valley Folklore Society (snopes.com) found that, despite published accounts to the contrary a while back, the agency conducted no such research. A WHO spokesman said the disappearing-blonds report was a hoax.

The report is raised again -- and refuted -- in “Next,” Michael Crichton’s new potboiler about genetics, which gives snopes.com a plug in the footnotes.

Snopes discovered, by the way, that similar stories date back more than 100 years, mentioning one 1890 article that declared blonds were on the way out “due to a stronger male preference for brunettes as matrimonial partners.”

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Luckily, it was wrong. What would the world be like without blond jokes?

Elephant burial ground: “We knew that the Republicans were having problems, but this is a bit much -- and in Pasadena?” wrote G.K. Sharma (see photo).

A boast or a warning? In Nashville, Abby Dees of Sherman Oaks saw a restaurant marquee that could be interpreted a couple of ways (see photo).

More food for thought: Esther Kisich of Long Beach says that kids partaking of the menu she spotted should have designated drivers for their tricycles (see accompanying).

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Learning experience: USC security police said a hit-and-run suspect was arrested “when he punctured two of his vehicle tires on exit spikes while pulling into a driveway in Exposition Park.”

I’m reminded of a fellow student from my college days who scoffed at the notion that exit spikes could damage tires. It was a bluff, he said. One night after he’d had a few drinks, he tested a set at a Cal State Northridge parking lot. Whoosh. The air went right out of that theory.

You know the holiday-feast season is over when ... : You walk into a Barnes & Noble and the book display closest to the front door is labeled “Diet and Nutrition.”

miscelLAny: “Happy New Year ... here’s a resolution idea for 2007,” said the chirpy mailing I received. It was from the Neptune Society, promoting its cremation services. Thanks for the offer but I think I’ll put it off for at least another year. I’d better peruse that “Diet and Nutrition” section more closely, though.

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Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LATIMES, Ext. 77083; by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A. 90012; and by e-mail at steve.harvey@latimes.com.


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