Species Of Blue-Green Algae Announces IPO

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Vol 35 Issue 42

'Very Special' Constitutional Amendment To Take On Alcoholism

WASHINGTON, DC—At 8 p.m. EST next Monday, C-SPAN will air "an important episode no family will want to miss," in which Congress is expected to pass a "very special" constitutional amendment dealing with the touchy issue of alcoholism. The amendment—inspired by the true story of a promising young hockey player whose dreams of a pro career died when his weekend partying spun out of control—will show the shattering effect alcohol has on drinkers and their loved ones, and will end with a toll-free number where victims can get help. "We're used to having a lot of fun with our amendments," said House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL). "But once in a while, an issue touches us so deeply, we decide to draft an amendment with a message." If passed, the amendment will be available on video in time for the holiday season.

Neglect Of Wife, Children Results In Promotion

NEWARK, NJ—Six years of familial neglect netted longtime Prudential Insurance employee Walt Arness a major promotion to national vice-president of accounting Monday. "Well done, Walt," Prudential CEO Art Ryan said. "For six years, while other employees were busy getting out of work early to see their kids' soccer games and spending Saturdays with their wives, you were tirelessly dedicating yourself to this company. And for that, you will be handsomely rewarded." As part of his new job, Arness will spend 25 weeks a year on the road, supervising accounting operations in Prudential offices across the U.S.

King Ralph Fails To Become Hip Retro Reference

NEW YORK—According to trendwatchers and pop-culture analysts, the 1991 John Goodman comedy King Ralph has failed to emerge as a humorous retro reference. "Despite the lameness and strong kitsch potential of this film, King Ralph is not being sarcastically referenced by wisecracking 18- to 29-year-olds," said Zeitgeist magazine editor Adam D'Amico. "No one is saying things like, 'That guy who owns Sony must be richer than King Ralph,' or, 'Did you hear about Zach's new job? He totally got himself King Ralphed."

Orrin Hatch Mistakenly Left Dangling In Bondage-Fetish Dungeon

WASHINGTON, DC–U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) declined to answer reporters' questions Monday after a congressional aide discovered him naked and dangling from a ceiling-mounted leather restraining harness in a D.C.-area bondage-fetish dungeon. "Sen. Hatch didn't show up for work, so I went looking for him at an address I saw written down on a scrap of paper on his desk," Hatch aide Alex Gordon said. "Through a massive oak door, I could hear a desperate voice pleading for a 'Mistress Domina' to come back and release him. When I opened the door, I saw the senator, looking exhausted and wearing only a dog collar and nipple clamps." Hatch was brought to Bethesda Naval Hospital, where he was treated for dehydration and third-degree wax burns to his scrotal sac.

Child Unimpressed With Aurora Borealis After Whole Day Of Tekken 3

INTERNATIONAL FALLS, MN—A wide-eyed gaze of childlike wonderment over the incomprehensible majesty of creation was not elicited Monday, when 7-year-old Kenny Meier, son of local high-school science teacher Stan Meier, was unmoved by the Aurora Borealis after spending an estimated 12 hours playing Tekken 3.

Banning ATM Fees

On Nov. 2, voters in San Francisco and Santa Monica approved ordinances banning banks from charging ATM fees to non-customers. In response, several banks in the cities blocked non-customers from using their cash machines. What do you think?
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Species Of Blue-Green Algae Announces IPO

LAKE ERIE—Seeking to capitalize on the recent IPO rage on Wall Street, Lake Erie-based blue-green algae Anabaena announced Tuesday that it will go public next week with its first-ever stock offering.

Anabaena, a photosynthesizing, nitrogen-fixing algae with 1999 revenues estimated at $0 billion, will offer 200 million shares on the NASDAQ exchange next Wednesday under the stock symbol ALG. The shares are expected to open in the $47-$49 range.

"This is an extremely attractive investment opportunity that no investor can afford to ignore," said Carter Stephens, a Shearson Lehman Brothers investment consultant retained by the freshwater-dwelling prokaryote to guide them through the IPO process. "In addition to being the world's largest producer of oxygen, Anabaena has a strong foothold in many markets other companies find untenable, from tidal spray pools of Lake Michigan to the frozen ponds of Siberia. And with its base of operation constantly expanding, the future for this blue-chip algae looks especially bright."

At a press conference Monday, Richard Kollar, the McCann-Erickson advertising executive in charge of marketing and public relations for Anabaena, praised the soon-to-be-public algae.

"Anabaena has been the clear leader in the blue-green-algae field for over 2.5 billion years," Kollar said. "It's helped humans breathe a little easier since Day One."

Kollar then unveiled the algae's official advertising slogan: "Anabaena—We Didn't Make The Atmosphere, We Just Made It Breathable™."

Despite the fact that Anabaena has failed to turn a profitable quarter since its founding in the early Proterozoic Era, Wall Street experts said the algae's good name and substantial liquid holdings should more than compensate.

Just a few of the many Wall Street traders eagerly awaiting the debut of <i>Anabaena</i>.

"For every company that has a successful IPO, there are 10 others that flop," said Brian Baum, head of online consulting for Ernst & Young. "But blue-green algae has a history of steady nitrogen production, as well as a very strong relationship with fungi, an environmental power player with whom it produces many common lichens. And with the number of living organisms on the planet rising every day, the demand for Anabaena's many products and byproducts should only grow."

Still, many investors said they are unsure whether they would be willing to take even a moderate risk on the stock.

"One thing they're not saying in the prospectus—and I've been through it thoroughly—is that blue-green algae aren't really algae. They're cyanobacteria," said Jeanette MacAlester, a San Francisco-based stockbroker who is strongly advising her clients not to buy ALG. "I don't know if I'd put my money in any bacteria, let alone one that seems to think it has something to hide."

"This is definitely a red-flag stock," Port St. Lucie, FL, day trader Paul Bostock said. "First off, blue-green algae can cause swimmers' itch. On top of that, if ingested, it can be toxic. I can see the $4 billion lawsuit already."

Despite such reservations, as well as a general concern on Wall Street over IPO oversaturation, Anabaena is expected to be a hot property when it makes its bow next week. Market forecasters are predicting an initial market valuation of $9.6 billion, easily eclipsing the stellar December 1998 IPO of Drosophila melanogaster, the common fruit fly.

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