Etc...

He was a singer, wasn't he?

"It was like striking gold," Allan Morrison said. "I am thrilled to bits." So, who is Allan Morrison and what is he excited about? Answer: He's a writer who has just completed six years of research on Elvis Presley's ancestral roots. He claims to have found them, too - in the village of Lonmay, Scotland. The King, he says, was a direct descendant of Andrew Presley, an Aberdeenshire blacksmith of some repute back in 1704. So far as is known, Elvis never cared enough to trace his lineage and apparently visited Scotland only once, a two-hour stopover at the airport in Glasgow in 1960 on his way home from military service in Germany. Still, Morrison hopes his discovery will set rock 'n' roll fans on pilgrimages to a new shrine - a "Presleyland," if you will. As for Lonmay residents, at least one isn't - um - "all shook up" at the prospect. Jim McCue manages the bar at the town's only hotel. "I wish it had been Jimi Hendrix," he said.

What americans find tasty when the munchies set in

Been hungering for some pork rinds lately? Perhaps not, since many people aren't even sure what they are. But if sales statistics from the Snack Food Association offer any clue, they may yet catch on. Why? Because - are you ready for this? - pork rinds are a "no carb" food. (They're slices of pig skin, often fried in lard or oil.) One Dallas manufacturer says sales are up 22 percent, their biggest jump since the first President Bush declared them his favorite snack in the late 1980s. To be sure, pork rinds (also known as bacon curls or chicharrones) are minor players in the snack food industry, but a comer nonetheless. The top snack products in the US, with sales figures for 2002 (in billions, unless otherwise indicated), the latest year available:

Potato chips $5.9
Tortilla chips 4.5
Meat snacks 2.1
Pretzels 1.3
Microwave popcorn 1.3
Cheese snacks 1.1
Corn snacks 861 million
Pork rinds 469 million

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