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OAK BROOK, IL-The McDonald's Corporation announced Tuesday that it will close 175 restaurants and cut nearly 600 corporate jobs, responding to a plunge in stock prices blamed on a depressed economy and rising consumer interest in actual food.
"Though still America's number-one hamburger retailer," McDonald's CEO Jim Cantalupo said, "we have entered a brief period of restructuring due to the steady growth of other convenience eateries and, more significantly, growing competition from producers and distributors of demonstrably nutritive matter, i.e. food."
In the fourth quarter of 2002, McDonald's posted the first quarterly loss in its 47-year history. Its stock closed Tuesday at $15.78, a seven-year low for the quasi-food giant.
Analysts attribute the bleak financial picture to numerous factors, including the uncertain economy, poor management, eroding market share, and widespread health concerns about beef-a component sometimes used in the construction of McDonald's hamburger patties.
"Though well-accustomed to weathering recessions and changing tastes, the Golden Arches may be facing its toughest battle ever, given the surging public interest in leading healthy, active lives and consuming objects that taste at least remotely organic," analyst Carolyn Moss of Lehman Brothers said. "These days, people seem more interested in eating food than hormone-hybrid lab patties."
The world's leading purveyor of semi-synthetic digestibles, McDonald's became a franchise in 1955 and quickly expanded across the U.S., thanks to innovative marketing, low prices, and exemption from FDA regulations, given that its products fall outside the scope of the agency. McDonald's has proven a popular favorite among busy, on-the-go Americans lacking the time for genuine food.
But for all its financial woes, McDonald's is optimistic for the future.
"This whole non-reconstituted-food craze will pass," Cantalupo said. "People have enjoyed our meat-flavored pseudo-patties for decades, and we're not going to be scared by consumers' passing interest in burgers that actually taste like an animal, served on bread that's less than a week old and garnished with ve-ge... ve-ge... ve-ge-tables."
Said McDonald's COO Charlie Bell: "We don't see the burgeoning food industry as a threat, but rather as a public fancy with which McDonald's can happily co-exist."
Added Bell: "I even enjoy some food myself here and there. I ate some corn just last weekend."
In spite of McDonald's outward optimism, rumors abound that the company is pondering some of its most extreme changes ever. McDonald's famed management-training facility, Oak Brook's Hamburger University, is reportedly developing an unprecedented "food studies" program. The facility is also rumored to be adding a research wing to teach culinary fundamentals for eventual incorporation into the McDonald's business plan.
"The bottom line is, we're doing fine," Bell said. "Certainly, as a last resort, we could introduce some recognizably food-like items, perhaps a sandwich made with animal matter and vegetables that have not been shredded, condensed, and flash-frozen to remove all possible nutritional content or general appearance of earthly origin. But I honestly don't think it will ever come to that."
McLayoffs for 600 to go please!!!!!!!
VANCLEVE, Kentucky (AP) -- A small Appalachian Bible college is fighting to change its telephone number because the 666 prefix is disturbing to Christians who recognize it as the biblical mark of the beast.

"People say, 'You're a Bible college and you have 666 in your phone number?"' said Carlene Light, an office worker at Kentucky Mountain Bible College. "It's the connotation. No one wants to be part of the mark of the beast."

The conservative, non-denominational Christian college on a hillside in eastern Kentucky has been trying for months to persuade a telephone company to change the number.

Rob Roy MacGregor, the college's vice president for business affairs, said staff and students want the number changed to a second prefix, 693, that recently was added after all the 666 numbers were taken.

In the biblical book of Revelation, "666" is stamped by Satan into the foreheads or hands of those marked for eternal damnation during the last days.

MacGregor said he asked Access Point, a North Carolina-based telephone company that serves the college, to change the number about six months ago.

Kentucky Mountain Bible College serves 85 students.  

"In the secular world, 666 is not a problem," he said. "It is for us."

Kaye Davis, general counsel for the company, said Friday the phone company intends to change the number as soon as possible.

"I certainly understand, being a Bible college, that the number 666 would cause some questions," she said.

Christina McBride, 24, a student from Ranier, Oregon, said she remembers being shocked the first time she heard the phone number. She's one of 85 students at the school, which is located 75 miles southeast of Lexington.
Mom! It's for you!
  01/19/03  /  12:19:23 PM
 Well hello campers and welcome to my new loser site dedicated to, well, nothing at the moment.  That's an apprpriate dedication for another site begun by overgrown slackers and haters like we all are.  To begin with we will be posting our own views on news and other brilliant objects de art gleaned from the nether regions of the internet.  I will be updating every couple days if not every day so stay tuned in slackerland.
    Me?  I am at the top end of the generation X catagory (which means I'm an old slacker) and this is my 'learn to be a webmaster' exercise.  I plan to include things that are of interest to myself and you (granted you have the interest and/or you email me with them).  In the near future I will be setting up my server and hosting in order to be an official .com.  For now I'll be here and about ten (or more) other places on the web.  The name is unique so search engines should pick it up easy enough.  
    I will include as many links to places I have found as possible, so that I can give you a quick getaway if nothing else while your here.  These places are mostly music, comedy, news, web rings and link pages.  If you have suggestions  for others email me at and I will check them out.
    There are some ads, I don't plan to get rich with them.  If they appeal at all go check 'em out.  I'll try not to put to many in and I am setting up another series of sites dedicated to affiliate and ad income.  So check our sponsors, blah, blah, blah.  Done.
    And like flushings of the larger sort so are the beginings of our RIPDICK REBELLION.COM !!!
    Enough said for now.  Come back, or email, or something.  Thanks.
                                             Yours Truly!
                                            Bard Ripdick
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