Etc...

Make mine a burrito

Sensing a certain hunger surrounding California's Oct. 7 recall election, Taco Bell wants in on the act. The Mexican-style fast-food chain is conducting a tracking poll via sales at 1,000 outlets in the state. How? By designating menu items to represent various candidates who hope to succeed embattled Gov. Gray Davis (D). For example, ordering a crunchy beef taco counts as a vote for movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger. Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante (D) is a chalupa. And Davis? He's a chicken soft taco.

Tough economic climate? It didn't stop these companies

Despite bleak economic conditions, many US companies are prospering, Fortune magazine notes in its latest list of the 100 fastest-growing firms. The average listee increased annual revenues by 36 percent. The magazine evaluated companies with at least $50 million in revenues over the past four quarters by earnings growth, revenue growth, and total investment returns. The top 10, their fields, and revenues for the 12 months prior to April 1 (in millions unless otherwise noted):

1. InVision Technologies (baggage-screening systems) $571.1
2. American Home Mortgage Holdings 293.6
3. AdvancePCS (low-cost drug benefits) 14.1 billion
4. Career Education (post- secondary education) 849.3
5. American Healthways (patient-education services) 147.5
6. Corinthian Colleges (post- secondary education) 472.9
7. New York Community Bancorp 733.4
8. eBay (online auctions) 1.4 billion
9. Dynacq International (specialty hospitals) 75.1
10. EDO (defense and aerospace supplies) 356.3

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