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Etc...

It's the gospel truth

It probably was inevitable: a new translation of the Bible ... into SMS (short message service), the text language of cellphone users. Yes, all of it, from Genesis I to Revelation 22. Last week, the Bible Society of Australia proudly took the wraps off its latest project , saying the days when the Bible was available only "within a somber black cover with a cross on it" are over. The society wants to open up access to the Bible for everyone for free via the Internet, a spokesman said - "and the SMS version is a logical extension of that." It's faithful to the grammar of the International Contemporary English Version, he said; only spellings have been changed. Want to see a sample? OK, how about: "In da bginnin God cre8d da heaven & da earth." Alas, accessing the entire Bible on one's cellphone would fill its LCD screen more than 30,000 times.

A fall harvest of facts about the beloved apple

Whether bought from roadside stands, u-pick-'em orchards, or supermarkets, this is the time of year when Americans love to bite into crisp, tree-ripened apples. It's also a time to bone up on apple trivia. Did you know, for example, that the first known apple tree grew between the Black and Caspian Seas? Or that apples are members of the rose family? A few more apple facts, from the University of Illinois Extension Service:
Varieties grown in US: 2,500
Varieties grown in the world: 7,500
Average number of apples eaten by each American in a year: 65
US apples used for juice and cider per year: 21%
Number of apples it takes to make a gallon of cider: 36
Most widely grown variety in the US: Delicious
States that grow apples commercially: 36
Top apple-growing states: Washington, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, California
Leading apple-growing countries besides US: China, Turkey, Poland, Italy

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