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Celebrities to record messages


It may be one of the most boring lines ever – “Leave a message after the beep.” But what if you managed to jazz up your phone’s outgoing message with a celebrity?

The advocacy group Autism Speaks is offering just that: custom-recorded messages from “Batman” star Adam West, “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston, singer Cher, actors Jack Black, Peter Dinklage, Jim Parsons, “Star Wars” star Mark Hamill, “Star Trek” actors Michael Dorn and Zachary Quinto, and broadcaster Vin Scully.

From Oct. 7 to 13, a limited number of 20-second MP3 messages you write will be recorded by each celebrity on a first-come, first-served basis for fans to do with as they wish. All requests must be of the PG variety and each costs $299.

Ring cash raised

A Jane Austen museum says it has raised enough money to buy the writer’s ring back from pop singer Kelly Clarkson.

This year, the British government placed a temporary export ban on the gold-and-turquoise ring Clarkson bought at auction in the hope that money could be found to keep it in Britain.

Jane Austen’s House Museum said Monday it had raised $252,436 – enough to keep the ring in Britain.

Detroit folk tunes

Detroit is famous for its music, from Motown to Iggy Pop to Eminem. But a newly unearthed trove of recordings reveals Michigan was a fertile ground for folk music. The music was played by immigrants who came in the early 20th Century to work in the copper mines, logging camps and auto factories.

The Library of Congress is releasing a collection of music recorded by legendary folklorist Alan Lomax in 1938 when he visited the Upper Midwest. The 900 tracks include acoustic blues and many logging, mining and sailing songs.

‘Prisoners’ on top

The top five movies from the weekend box office:

1. “Prisoners,” $20.8 million

2. “Insidious: Chapter 2,” $13.8 million

3. “The Family,” $7 million

4. “Instructions Not Included,” $5.4 million

5. “Battle of the Year,” $4.6 million

Happy birthday

Among celebrity birthdays today: Actress Sheila MacRae is 92. Singer Sonny Turner is 74. Singer Gerry Marsden is 71. News anchor Lou Dobbs is 68. Actor Gordon Clapp is 65. Actor Kevin Sorbo is 55. Actress-writer Nia Vardalos is 51. Singer-guitarist Marty Cintron is 42. Actor Kyle Sullivan is 25.