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22 December 1999

I'm going away for the holidays, and thus will probably not be posting here for a bit. Expect a post sometime around the 29th, then another break until about January 4.

Like some other sites, I've started a notify-list of sorts, e-mailing folks when this page gets updated (lately it's been near-daily, but that won't last forever). So far I have one person on it (hey, start small). If you'd like to be on it too, just let me know. I'll have easier, One-Click!TM signup sometime in the future...

It sounded plausible to me, but apparently the 'brightest moon' thing tonight won't be dramatic at all:

  • Brightest Moon in 133 Years? [Sky and Telescope, seen on Lake Effect], scroll down to December 15
    It turns out ... that the Moon comes closer to Earth in the years 1893, 1912, 1930, and 2052 than it does in either 1866 or 1999. The difference in brightness will be exceedingly slight.

From the yes,-I'm-still-annoyed-about-this dept.: Quoth Matt Drudge (Does he archive his stuff? I admit I haven't looked very hard):

All eyes continue to focus on TIME's upcoming pick for 'Person of the Century' -- to be revealed next weekend.

Officially, the magazine has narrowed the contenders down to five: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., Albert Einstein, Adolf Hitler and Mohandas Gandhi.

TIME's managing editor Walter Isaacson taped five different versions of an interview with Dan Rather ... "so even Dan Rather doesn't know at this point!" one network source said.

Isaacson is reportedly spending the weekend writing the lead of an exhaustive cover story explaining the magazine's choice, for what is expected to be TIME magazine's biggest-selling issue ever.

Bah. It's all just journalistic wanking, trying to con more people into buying their dead trees.

OK, fine, that's pretty common and pretty harmless in itself, but the big deal the rest of the media (including Drudge!) is making out of it and the 'secrecy measures' they're pulling with Dan Rather are just pathetic.

Gee, how did the world survive not having a 'person of the century' named before this one? Pity the poor 1899ers. Aww. We're so much better off now, aren't we? Thank you, TIME, for the service you're providing. Lead us, O TIME.

Fred at MetaScene got a belly laugh out of me with this one...

Al Lewis, who portrayed "Grandpa" on The Munsters, is considering a run for the Senate on the Green Party ticket.

Looks like an all-vampire Senate race in New York.

Interesting result: Dave Winer ran a poll asking Scripting News readers (more specifically, members) the question "Is George W. Bush disgusting?" No elaboration as to why W would be, just the question.

Contrary to what you might expect, I voted no; he's disappointing, certainly (this is the best guy the Republican establishment could talk into running? Seriously? No, really, you can tell me...he has incriminating pictures of somebody important, doesn't he), but that's still a long way from "disgusting". One has to be a pretty nasty individual to earn 'disgusting' in my book -- maybe I'm just unaware of something he did.

Anyway, even without my vote, 67% of the respondents (121 out of 178) said yes, he's disgusting.

Huh. Those are some pretty high negatives, as they say.

Windowseat's been updated. Yay!

Charles Krauthammer, usually a fairly conservative columnist if I recall correctly, needles the Republicans for what the debates haven't been about:

  • God or Gore? [Washington Post]
    In Monday night's Iowa Republican debate, God (in his various incarnations) got 21 mentions. Al Gore got two.

    The Democrats have been in office for seven years. In New Hampshire, Arizona and now Iowa, the Republicans had the floor to themselves for four hours. You'd have thought they might have had a lot to say about the Democrats. What was astonishing was how weak and scattered the criticism was. ... If there is a case to be made why eight years of Democratic rule should be ended, not a single Republican on that stage in Iowa made it.

Ariana Huffington reminds us of some about-faces the current candidates have committed:

  • Several candidates smitten by the 'Oops' bug [Chicago Sun-Times]
    "Reforming our schools is an urgent national priority that requires a national strategy," Gore said in announcing the proposal last week. When did it dawn on him that the state of our schools is an urgent national priority? And didn't he have seven years to come up with a national strategy?

    Earlier this year [Bush's] policy on hiring homosexuals was that "if someone can do a job and a job that he's qualified for, that person ought to be allowed to do his job." But this apparently slipped his mind when he was being interviewed by the Madison Project, a group of social conservatives. He reportedly told them that if elected president, he would not appoint anyone who is known to be gay.

    [In 1996, Forbes] even attacked his rivals who supported [an amendment outlawing abortion], asking whether they "really believe the majority of the American people today want to make it a crime for women to have abortions." ... Now he is not only in favor of a constitutional amendment banning abortion but also a pro-life litmus test for vice president and for justices to the Supreme Court.

Star Wars: Episode One: The Phantom Etc. comes out on videocassette on 4 April 2000. No DVD release is scheduled yet (how wude!) but apparently Lucas is becoming more open to the idea:

One more TIME dig: a month ago they sent me a "special subscription offer" at the Senior Citizen Rate. From the publisher's accompanying letter: is important to me that we obtain the readership of mature, well-informed individuals such as yourself.

(Gosh, thanks.) I'd love to know what purchase I made or what bad data transfer occurred that's responsible for them thinking I'm more than twice as old as I am...

Y2K predictions? Sure, I have some: There will be at least one major accident somewhere in the world (probably not North America) with loss of life that can be blamed on computer failure. There will also be at least one terrorist attack somewhere in the world, also with loss of life. These two things will be considered 'defining' events of the 'new millennium' by the American media for the following several years.

No, I have no inside information. Yes, I hope I'm wrong.

Have a safe end-of-December. Happy holidays to those celebrating, and to the rest of you, enjoy your break from the rest of us. :)

Full bottle in front of me
Time to roll up my sleeves
And get to work
and after many glasses
of work
I get
-- "Your Own Worst Enemy", They Might Be Giants, Factory Showroom, 1996

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