Pass the guacamole!

Just off a stretch of California interstate called the Avocado Highway, crews are harvesting fist-sized fruits destined to be mashed and mixed by football fans across the country.

Super Bowl Sunday has become one of the nation's biggest days for avocado consumption as the popularity of its dip derivative, guacamole, has spread. And that translates into a winter windfall for America's avocado capital.

Some 40 million pounds of avocados will be eaten during this year's Super Bowl festivities, according to the California Avocado Commission. Put another way, says commission spokeswoman Irene Cabanas: "If you were to lay it out end-zone to end-zone at (San Diego's) Qualcomm Stadium, that's over 5 feet deep."

How do they keep the elephants away?

A sound like trumpeting elephants is the best way to keep the dreaded Asian carp out of Lake Michigan, a British expert said Wednesday.

And that's what will reverberate from a $728,000 permanent barrier planned for the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal to keep the fish from swimming farther upstream. The wall of sound-filled bubbles will turn the carp around, said Jeremy Nedwell of Fish Guidance Systems in Southampton, Hampshire, England.

"It's similar to putting your hand in hot water and pulling it out," he said. "It causes them to turn tail and go in the opposite direction."

Forget Vegas. Head to Nebraska!

Gettin' hitched? The residents of Central City want you to tie the knot in their town.

The small, south-central Nebraska farming town is reaching out to the betrothed in hopes they will choose Central City for their wedding.

The town is even working on a web site ( and sending out free wedding-planning kits to couples preparing to take the plunge.

The town is sponsoring a bridal fair this fall and convinced Gov. Mike Johanns to sign a proclamation Wednesday declaring Central City the "Wedding Capital of Nebraska."

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