The World Almanac E-Newsletter

Volume 3, Number 10 - October 2003



What's in this issue?

October Events
Holidays - National and International
This Day in History - October
October Birthdays
Featured Location of the Month: Cleveland, Ohio
Obituaries - July 2003
Special Feature: The World Series 1903-2003
Science in the News
Chronology - Events of September 2003
Offbeat News Stories
Noted Personalities from The World Almanac: Ancient Greeks and Latins
Links of the Month
How to Reach Us

October Events

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Gay and Lesbian History Month

October 2-5 - Riley Festival, Greenfield, IN
October 3-5 - Cohocton (NY) Fall Foliage Festival; Craftsmen's Classic Arts & Crafts Festival, Roanoke, VA
October 3-17 - Chicago International Film Festival
October 4 - Chung Yeung Festival, Hong Kong; Pumpkin Day, Woodstock, VT
October 4-5 - American Heart Walk (in more than 900 cities and towns)
October 5 - Apple Festival, Topeka, KS
October 6 - U.S. Supreme Court session begins
October 8 - NHL season begins
October 8-13 - Frankfurt (Germany) Book Fair
October 10-12 - Gumbo Festival, Bridge City, LA
October 10-18 - Oktoberfest, Ontario, Canada
October 10-November 22 - Rugby World Cup, Australia
October 11-13 - Chowderfest, Mystic, CT
October 11-18 - Maple Leaf Festival, Carthage, MO
October 12 - Women's World Cup final, Los Angeles, CA; Chicago Marathon
October 15-18 - Circleville (OH) Pumpkin Show
October 16-19 - Biketoberfest, Daytona Beach, FL
October 18 - World Series begins
October 19 - Pickle Festival, Greenlawn, NY
October 22-26 - Tacoma (WA) Holiday Food and Gift Festival
October 23 - Swallows Depart from San Juan Capistrano, CA
October 24-November 9 - Belfast (N. Ireland) Festival at Queen's University
October 25 - Halloween Festival and Haunted Walk, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY
October 26 - Daylight Saving Time ends (U.S.); Marine Corps Marathon & 5K, Washington, DC
October 28 - NBA season begins
October 29-31 - Banff Mountain Book Festival, Banff, Alberta

October Holidays

October 1 - National Day, China; World Vegetarian Day
October 1-7 - Universal Children's Week
October 4-10 - UN World Space Week
October 5 - UN World Teachers' Day
October 6 - Yom Kippur; Child Health Day; UN World Habitat Day
October 11 - National Coming Out Day
October 12 - Día de la Raza, Mexico
October 13 - Columbus Day (observed); Thanksgiving Day, Canada
October 18 - Sweetest Day
October 24 - United Nations Day
October 27 - Ramadan (1st full day); Navy Day, U.S.; Labor Day, New Zealand
October 31 - Halloween


The last confirmed chemical element discovery was Hassium in 1984.

This Day in History - October






The first World Series game in history is played; the Pittsburgh Pirates defeat the Boston Americans, 7-3.



Thurgood Marshall is sworn in, becoming the first African-American Supreme Court justice.



A jury finds former football star O. J. Simpson not guilty of the 1994 murders of his former wife and her companion.



Belgium becomes independent from the Netherlands.



The United States, under General William Henry Harrison, wins the Battle of the Thames in Ontario, defeating the British and Indians. Shawnee Chief Tecumseh is killed.



Egypt and Syria attack Israel, beginning the Yom Kippur War.



The German Democratic Republic (East Germany) is established under Soviet auspices.



The Polish Parliament officially bans Solidarity and other labor groups.



Che Guevara is killed in Bolivia while leading Cuban-sponsored leftist guerrillas.



Porgy and Bess opens in New York.



The Daughters of the American Revolution is founded.



Christopher Columbus and his crew land in the Bahamas.



The cornerstone of the White House is laid.



Captain Chuck Yeager, flying in an X-1 rocket plane, becomes the first person to break the sound barrier.



Thomas Edison founds the Edison Electric Light Company.



The Crimean War begins when the Ottoman Empire declares war on Russia.



A major earthquake strikes the San Francisco Bay area moments before a World Series game is to begin.



The German war crimes trials begin in Berlin, later moving to Nuremberg.



The Mariner 5 space probe transmits data as it passes Venus.



An all-white jury convicts seven men in the 1964 slayings of three civil rights workers in Mississippi.



Former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, Imelda, are indicted for embezzling millions from the Philippine government.



The U.S. government debt passes the $1 trillion mark for the first time.



The Senate rejects the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court.



Pony Express service ends with the completion of the first transcontinental telegraph line.



The UN General Assembly votes to admit China and expel Taiwan.



The Seneca Chief leaves Buffalo, NY, the first boat to travel through the Erie Canal.



The Dow Jones industrial average falls 554.26 points, its largest one-day decline to date.



Harvard College is founded, the oldest institution of higher education in the United States.



On "Black Tuesday," the stock market crashes, plunging America into a devastating Depression.



The House Judiciary Committee begins deliberating on procedures for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.



Martin Luther nails his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg church, beginning the Reformation in Germany.

October Birthdays






Mark McGwire, baseball player and home run record holder (Pomona, CA)



Donna Karan, fashion designer (Forest Hills, NY)



Al Sharpton, activist and civil rights leader (New York, NY)



Jackie Collins, author (London, England)



Laura Davies, golfer (Coventry, England)



Shana Alexander, journalist (Boston, MA)



June Allyson, actress (New York)



David Carradine, actor (Hollywood, CA)



Jackson Browne, singer/songwriter (Heidelberg, Germany)



Harold Pinter, playwright/director (London, England)



Steve Young, former football quarterback (Salt Lake City, UT)



Hugh Jackman, actor (Sydney, Australia)



Nancy Kerrigan, figure skater (Stoneham, MA)



John Dean, White House counsel during Watergate (Akron, OH)



John Kenneth Galbraith, economist (Iona Station, Ontario, Canada)



Günter Grass, writer (Danzig, Germany)



Arthur Miller, playwright (New York, NY)



Wendy Wasserstein, playwright (Brooklyn, NY)



Patricia Ireland, feminist leader (Oak Park, IL)



Jerry Ohrbach, actor (New York, NY)



Joyce Randolph, actress (Detroit, MI)



Doris Lessing, writer (Kermanshah, Persia)



Ned Rorem, composer (Richmond, IN)



Monica (Arnold), singer (College Park, GA)



James Carville Jr., political consultant (Fort Benning, GA)



Natalie Merchant, singer (Jamestown, NY)



John Cleese, actor/writer (Weston-Super-Mare, England)



Julia Roberts, actress (Smyrna, GA)



Kate Jackson, actress (Birmingham, AL)



Andrea Mitchell, news correspondent (New York, NY)



Dick Francis, mystery writer (Tenby, Wales)


Russia has nearly double the land-area of the world's second-largest nation, China.


Location: Seat of Cuyahoga County, NE Ohio, at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, on the S shore of Lake Erie; incorporated as a village 1814, as a city 1836. It is situated approximately midway between Chicago and New York City. Cleveland is the center of the largest metropolitan area in Ohio and a leading Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Seaway port.

Population (2002): 467,851

Mayor: Jane L. Campbell (Democrat)

October Temperatures: Normal high of 62.1 degrees Fahrenheit; normal low of 43.5 degrees Fahrenheit

Colleges & Universities: Baldwin-Wallace College; Case Western Reserve University; Cleveland Institute of Art; Cleveland Institute of Music; Cleveland State University; David N. Myers University; John Carroll University; Notre Dame College; Ursuline College

Events: 37th Annual Wonderful World of Ohio Mart (October 2-5); America's Walk for Diabetes (October 4); Buddy Walk (October 4); Race for the Cure (October 11); Catholic Charities Walk (October 11); World Festival Day (October 12); Autumn Lantern Festival (October 15); Tony Hawk's Boom Boom HuckJam (October 16); Juno Jog (October 18); U.S. Masters Synchronized Swimming Championships (October 23-26); Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (October 24-31); Bench Bar Halloween Run (October 25); Samhain on the Square (October 25); Cleveland Fall Antique Sale and Show (October 25-26)

Sports teams: Cleveland Indians (baseball); Cleveland Cavaliers (basketball); Cleveland Browns (football)

Places to visit: African American Museum; Children's Museum of Cleveland; Cleveland Botanical Garden; Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art; Cleveland Metroparks Zoo at Brookside Park; Cleveland Museum of Art; Cleveland Museum of Natural History; Cod Submarine Museum; Cultural Gardens in Rockefeller Park; Dunham Tavern Museum; Great Lakes Science Center; International Women's Air & Space Museum; Lakefront State Park; NASA Glenn Research Center; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum; Steamship William G. Mather Museum; Willard Park

Tallest Building: Key Tower (947 feet, 57 stories)

History: The site was surveyed for the Connecticut Land Co. in 1796 by Moses Cleaveland (1754-1806), for whom the resulting settlement was named (the a was dropped in 1832 to fit a newspaper masthead). The community registered little growth in its early years. With the completion of the Ohio Canal in 1832, linking Cleveland with the Ohio River, the community became a key link in trade between the Ohio Valley and eastern markets serviced by the Erie Canal. The foundation for industrial development was laid in the 1850s, with improved access to iron ore and coal-the former shipped via canal from the Lake Superior region, the latter brought by rail from Kentucky and West Virginia. During the American Civil War a number of industries were established in the city, contributing considerably to its growth; among these were oil refining (begun in 1862 by John D. Rockefeller, Sr.) and the manufacture of iron and clothing. Dramatic growth accompanied the continued industrialization, with the city's population soaring from 17,034 to 560,663 between 1850 and 1910. Cleveland's first European settlers came from Connecticut and other eastern states. Subsequently, immigrants arrived from Great Britain, Ireland, and northern Europe, especially Germany. After the Civil War a greater percentage came from Eastern European countries. During the first half of the 20th century the city's black population grew dramatically; blacks made up about 51% of the city's total population in 2000. Bleak economic opportunities and ghetto conditions led to neighborhood violence and rioting, notably in the Hough area in 1966. Cleveland suffered a serious economic downturn in the 1970s. Despite a 36% loss of population from 1970 to 2000, the city, through its location and diversified economy, retains its national importance. Cleveland sought to boost tourism through the renovation and expansion of sports and entertainment facilities in the 1990s. The city became the focus of a national debate on school reform after the Ohio state legislature passed a 1995 measure allowing students in Cleveland's troubled public school system to use vouchers worth up to $2,250 at private institutions, predominantly religious schools.

Birthplace of: singer Kaye Ballard (1926); actress Halle Berry (1968); actor Drew Carey (1958); musician Eric Carmen (1949); musician Tracy Chapman (1964); brain surgeon Harvey Cushing (1869); actress Ruby Dee (1923); TV personality Phil Donahue (1935); singer/dancer Joel Grey (1932); TV personality Arsenio Hall (1955); philanthropist Edward Harkness (1874); philosopher William Hocking (1873); actor Hal Holbrook (1925); architect Philip Johnson (1906); actress Carol Kane (1952); chemist and Nobel laureate William Lipscomb (1919); sex expert William H. Masters (1915); actor Paul Newman (1925); industrialist John D. Rockefeller Jr. (1874); former Sec. of Health and Human Services Donna E. Shalala (1941); choreographer Glen Tetley (1926); actress Debra Winger (1955)


Obituaries in September

Armstrong, Garner Ted, 73, TV evangelist who in 1979 was excommunicated by his father, Worldwide Church of God founder Herbert Armstrong; Tyler, TX, Sept. 15, 2003.

Bennett, Charles E., 92, Democratic congressman from Florida, 1949-93, most identified with ethics issues and nicknamed "Mr. Clean"; Jacksonville, FL, Sept. 6, 2003.

Cash, Johnny, 71, country music icon, known as "The Man in Black," who recorded 1,500 songs and sold more than 50 million records in a nearly five-decade-long career; Nashville, TN, Sept. 11, 2003.

Dugan, Alan, 80, poet known for his down-to-earth themes and language who in 1962 won both a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award for his first book of poems; Hyannis, MA, Sept. 3, 2003.

Gardner, Herb, 68, comic playwright whose reputation was established with A Thousand Clowns (1962) and whose other biggest hit was I'm Not Rappaport (1985); New York, NY, Sept. 24, 2003.

Gibson, Althea, 76, preeminent figure in women's tennis who in 1957 became the first black player to win both Wimbledon and the U.S. national tennis championship; East Orange, NJ, Sept. 28, 2003.

Kazan, Elia, 94, director whose work in the theater included the world premieres of such classics as A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) and Death of a Salesman (1949) and whose film credits included such classics as Gentleman's Agreement (1947) and On the Waterfront (1954); New York, NY, Sept. 28, 2003.

MacKenzie, Gisele, 76, Canadian-born singer, violinist and comedienne well known to North American TV audiences in the 1950s and 1960s; Burbank, CA, Sept. 5, 2003.

Modigliani, Franco, 85, Italian-born economist who in 1985 won the Nobel Prize for economics for his theories of savings and of corporate finance; Cambridge, MA, Sept. 25, 2003.

O'Bannon, Frank, 73, Indiana Democrat who had been governor of his state since 1997; Chicago, IL, Sept. 8, 2003.

O'Connor, Donald, 78, actor best known for films he made in the 1950s, including a series of "Francis the Talking Mule" comedies and such movie musicals as Singin' in the Rain (1952), which showcased his song and dance talents; Calabasas, CA, Sept. 27, 2003.

Palmer, Robert, 54, British singer and songwriter who won a best male rock vocal Grammy in 1986 for "Addicted to Love"; Paris, France, Sept. 26, 2003.

Plimpton, George, 76, founding editor of the Paris Review literary magazine and a "participatory journalist" who tried everything from professional football to boxing to trapeze acrobatics; New York, NY, Sept. 26, 2003.

Riefenstahl, Leni, 101, German film director who made two of the most remarkable films ever made by a woman, the Nazi propaganda documentaries Triumph of the Will (1935) and Olympia (1938); Poecking, Germany, Sept. 8, 2003.

Ritter, John, 54, comic actor who made his mark in the long-running TV show "Three's Company" (1977-84) and had recently starred in another TV comedy series, "8 Simple Rules...for Dating My Teenage Daughter"; Burbank, CA, Sept. 11, 2003.

Said, Edward, 67, Columbia University literary scholar and critic who was one of America's leading advocates of the Palestinian cause; New York, NY, Sept. 25, 2003.

Teller, Edward, 95, Hungarian-born nuclear physicist sometimes referred to as the father of the hydrogen bomb; Stanford, CA, Sept. 9, 2003.

Wooley, Sheb, 82, actor and singer-songwriter who wrote the 1958 pop novelty hit "The Purple People Eater" and wrote the theme for the hit TV show "Hee Haw"; Nashville, TN, Sept. 16, 2003.

Young, Hugo, 64, political columnist for Britain's Guardian newspaper since 1984 and one of the leading voices of liberal politics in British journalism; London, England, Sept. 22, 2003.

Zevon, Warren, 56, singer and songwriter known for wry ballads about morbid characters, notably "Werewolves of London" (1978); Los Angeles, CA, Sept. 7, 2003.

SPECIAL FEATURE: The World Series 1903-2003

By Joseph Gustaitis

It was on October 1, 1903 that some 16,200 Boston Pilgrims fans at Huntington Avenue Grounds watched Deacon Philippe of the Pittsburgh Pirates throw the first pitch of the modern World Series. (The same year, a National Commission to oversee professional baseball was founded.) This means that U.S. baseball's two best squads have now been battling each other in the fall classic for 100 years, and 2003 may be called the centennial of the World Series. The two major leagues, however, haven't yet faced each other 100 times. The World Series was canceled twice: in 1904 (the cause is murky, but probably because manager John McGraw of the New York Giants detested American League President Ban Johnson), and in 1994 (because of a players strike).


Nor was that 1903 match-up exactly the first World Series. Major league postseason play can be traced back to 1871. These early contests, though, were usually regional and city series, as when Cleveland and Cincinnati contended for the Ohio championship in 1882 (Cleveland won). However, baseball scholars acknowledge that in 1884 a championship was played between the National League's Providence Grays and the New York Mets (that's correct!) of the American Association and that the winning Grays were duly pronounced "champions of the world."

Further postseason battles between the National League and the American Association involved teams with such names as the Brooklyn Bridegrooms, the Boston Beaneaters, the Detroit Wolverines, and the Cleveland Spiders. The number of games in these series varied a lot -- anywhere from 6 to 15. But then the American Association folded after the 1891 season, leaving but one major league, and subsequent autumn match-ups featured the National League's first- and second-place teams. With the founding of the American League in 1901, however, two rival baseball organizations were now back in business and the World Series as we know it was launched. It did take some negotiation, though. At first, the chieftains of the venerable National League, the "senior circuit" founded in 1876, considered the American League (developed from the minor-league Western League and founded in 1900) a cluster of upstarts who had the offensive habit of raiding the older league for players. But, of course, there was money to be made.

Classic Moments

That first World Series went eight games, with the Boston Pilgrims, behind the pitching of the legendary Cy Young, then 36 years old, taking the title, 5-3. Pittsburgh's Jimmy Sebring led all hitters with a .367 Series average and clouted the first home run in World Series history. Many great moments were to follow.

Several polls and lists have come up with what are called "The Greatest Moments in World Series History." Most of these are post-1950, which is to be expected, since sportswriters and fans prefer to acclaim moments that they remember. But there were some pretty intense World Series moments in the early days, too. One lollapalooza of a series came in 1924, when the Washington Senators battled the New York Giants through seven games, four of which were decided by one run (and two in 12 innings). Washington was led by its dominating pitcher Walter Johnson, the "Big Train," who had suffered through 17 seasons with the perennially lowly Senators without ever winning a pennant. That year he was the American League's Most Valuable Player. The illustrious Johnson had pitched the fifth series game (and lost) and wasn't expected to see action again, but in the seventh game, after the Senators came back from a 3-1 deficit, Johnson came on in relief in the ninth. He proceeded to hurl four shutout innings, and then, in the bottom of the 12th he was allowed to bat with a man on second. He reached first base on an error by the shortstop and then the next batter hit a ball that bounced over the third baseman's head. The man on second hustled home and Washington, and Johnson, had won the series.

The 1932 World Series was not suspenseful. The Yankees pretty much handled the Chicago Cubs at will, sweeping in four games, as Lou Gehrig posted the mind-boggling average of .529. Yet Game Three is nearly always cited as a classic World Series moment, for it was in the fifth inning that Babe Ruth may (or may not) have pointed to the right-field bleachers and "called his shot" by hitting a home run on the next pitch. This moment has been subject to extensive speculation and research, yet no unarguable conclusion has been forthcoming. There is no doubt that the Babe gestured at Cub pitcher Charlie Root, but no one knows what that gesture meant or what Ruth said to Root. Babe did send the next pitch over the wall, however, and, given his mythical status in sports history, the tale has been too good to discard.

A dazzling roster of Hall of Fame pitchers has appeared in various fall classics. But their finest single pitching performance was achieved by a pitcher who is not only not in the Hall of Fame but whose lifetime career record is a losing one (81-91). This was Don Larsen, who, in the second year of an otherwise undistinguished five-season career with the Yankees, became in 1956 the only pitcher to hurl a perfect game in the World Series. It was Game Five of their series against the Brooklyn Dodgers, and Larsen, who had not even lasted two innings in Game Two, had everything going for him. Yankee centerfielder Mickey Mantle pulled off a dandy running catch in the fifth, but otherwise, Larsen breezed. Only one Dodger went to a three-ball count (Pee Wee Reese in the second inning), and Larsen struck out Dale Mitchell to end the game. Ironically, Brooklyn's pitcher Sal ("The Barber") Maglie retired the first 11 Yankees. If any fans were thinking perfect game at that point, they were probably figuring that the feat would be pulled off by Maglie, who was a considerably more renowned hurler than Larsen. Larsen became series MVP, the second one ever.

As dramatic as it was, Babe Ruth's 1932 homer against the Cubs was not the most rousing home run in series history. That was the "walk-off" clout delivered against the Yankees by Pirate second baseman Bill Mazeroski in 1960. With hitters such as Mantle, Roger Maris, Yogi Berra, Bill Skowron, Gil McDougald, Tony Kubek, Bobby Richardson, and Elston Howard, the Bronx Bombers were an offensive powerhouse. In the series the Yankees outscored their rivals, 55-27, and outhit them, 91-60, yet the Pirate pitchers did their jobs well enough and Pittsburgh eked out three victories of their own, setting the stage for the seventh-game showdown on October 13. The Pirates were up 4-0 after two innings and then saw their lead fizzle as the Yanks went ahead in the top of the eighth, 7-4. But the Pirates scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth, three of them on a four-bagger by catcher Hal Smith. Now down by two runs, the Yankees rallied again, scoring two in the top of the ninth to tie the contest at nine runs each. Mazeroski, the first man up in the bottom of the ninth, was known for his glove more than his bat (during the regular season he had stroked only 11 home runs while batting .273). Yet he got around on Ralph Terry's second pitch and drove the ball over the left-field wall. The Pirates had won their first World Series in 35 years.

More Highs -- and Lows

Mazeroski's home run, Larsen's perfect game, Ruth's "called shot" -- these are memorable individual moments by individual players. Understandably, many of these moments involve baseball's most dramatic single instant, the home run. There was Carlton Fisk waving his home-run ball fair in the 12th inning of Game Six of the 1975 series. There was a nearly crippled Kirk Gibson smashing a four-bagger for the Dodgers in 1988. Many fans would vote Reggie Jackson's three-homer game in the 1977 series as one of the top individual feats. Joe Carter's series-winning three-run blast for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1993 nearly rivals Mazeroski's in drama. In the field, Bill Wambsganss's unassisted triple play in 1920 stands out, as does Willie Mays's great running overhead catch in 1954.

As far as pitching goes, informed baseball historians consider Bob Gibson's 17-strikeout effort against the Tigers in the first game of the 1968 series one of the most dominating performances ever. In the seventh game of the 1991 series, Minnesota's Jack Morris shut out the Braves for ten innings, an outing that has been called the greatest clutch pitching performance by a starter ever in the World Series. But unforgettable moments can also involve miscues. In the elongated history of Red Sox disappointment, few moments top Bill Buckner's error in the 10th inning of Game Six of the 1986 World Series between the Red Sox and the Mets. Then there was Mickey Owen's famed dropped third strike, which enabled the Yankees to win a come-from-behind victory (and eventually the series) against the Dodgers in 1941. And it's tough to overlook Cub outfielder Hack Wilson losing the ball in the sun in 1929, allowing the Philadelphia Athletics to go on and score 10 runs in the inning and eventually take the game and the series. That was the kind of moment that makes Cub fans wonder if there really is a hex.

Although the series has been rife with great individual moments like these, baseball purists will tell you that a great series is one that's hard fought over the maximum number of games, one in which each inning, each at-bat, each pitch counts. For a series like that, it's hard to top the 1972 match-up between the Reds and the Oakland A's. Every game except the sixth was a low-scoring, one-run, nail-biting victory (the sixth game was an 8-1 Cincinnati romp; the other scores were 3-2, 2-1, 1-0, 3-2, 5-4, and 3-2). A similar series was contested as recently as 2001, when the Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks knocked each other around for six games (Arizona did win a couple of blowouts), until the Diamondbacks rallied in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game Seven to score two runs off the stellar Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera, who since 1997 had an unbroken string of 23 postseason saves.

On to the Next "Hundred Years" For years it was the custom that the American League and the National League would alternate hosting the World Series. Beginning in 2003, however, baseball has put a new twist on that old tradition. Feeling that the All-Star game was becoming too much of a showcase in which players weren't trying their best, the sport's powers decided that as of 2003, the league that wins the All-Star game will be the one with the home-field advantage in the series. Since the American League won 7-6 in 2003, the junior circuit takes the honors.

Memorable moments, great individual performances, unforgettable series -- these are the lures that continually draw fans to the World Series, even if their teams aren't in it. And some teams are in it a lot more than others (the Yanks, with 26 championships in 38 World Series appearances, most notably). True baseball fans would swoon from ecstasy to witness a World Series between the Cubs (last World Series title, 1908) and the Red Sox (last title, 1918). That would be a "fall classic," no matter who won.


The French phrase "carte blanche" means "full discretionary power."

Science in the News: Rubber Ducks' Journey Helps Oceanographers

Rubber duckies can do more than just make bath time fun. They are helping oceanographers track ocean currents.

In January 1992, 29,000 bath toys--yellow ducks, blue turtles, red beavers and green frogs--were swept off a ship in the middle of the northern Pacific Ocean. By November, six had washed up in Alaska. Then came finds on the coasts of Hawaii and Canada.

Oceanographers Curtis Ebbesmeyer, of Seattle, Washington, and James Ingraham, from the National Marine Fisheries Service, have been tracking the ocean's man-made flotsam for over a decade, using a computer model called the Ocean Surface Currents Simulation (Oscur). Ingraham usually tracks drifting fish eggs with Oscur, but modified the program for the debris. "We model the changes in ocean circulation year by year and then apply that to fisheries problems," Ingraham told the Guardian. "It's kind of a sideline for me to do the debris drift, but it's been more fun."

Ingraham uses the debris to check the computer model's performance and improve it. He then uses Oscur to predict where the flotsam may land next. Oscur predicted that up to 10,000 of the bath toys may have been driven northeast of Alaska, through the Bering Strait and into the Arctic Ocean, according to Ingraham and Ebbesmeyer. In the winter of 1993-1994, the toys should have been frozen into the Arctic ice where they would slowly travel across the North Pole and towards the Atlantic Ocean.

"Wind moves ice from the Bering Strait over the North Pole down to eastern Greenland at about a mile a day. That's five years to get across from the Pacific to the Atlantic," Ebbesmeyer told the Washington Post..

Some of the toys should have made it to the Atlantic by now. None have been recovered yet, but there have been unconfirmed sightings in Maine, Florida and Scotland. (The toys can be recognized by the name and corporate logo of First Years, Inc., the Massachusetts-based company that sells them, which each toy bears. Also, the ducks and beavers will have lost their color by now, bleached by the sun.)

Besides the ducks and other bath toys, Ebbesmeyer and Ingraham have tracked the ocean journeys of 100,000 toy cars and balloons, 34,000 ice hockey gloves, five million Legos, and thousands of Nike shoes lost in 1990 and December 2002.

The flotsam has helped the oceanographers learn more about the interaction between the ocean's surface currents and winds. For example, winds helped the ducks make a full circuit around the northern Pacific in only three years, twice as fast as the water carrying them. Better knowledge of the ocean's surface will help scientists to predict severe weather, such as droughts, floods and hurricanes, and understand fish migrations.

"The surface of the ocean is more of an unknown than the bottom," Ebbesmeyer told the Post. "It's an oceanographic blind spot."

CHRONOLOGY - September 2003


Bush Withdraws Nomination for Judgeship - A long, bitter struggle over the nomination of Miguel Estrada to serve on a U.S. court of appeals ended Sept. 4 when Pres. George W. Bush withdrew his name. Bush had initially nominated Estrada, a Honduran immigrant who had become assistant solicitor general in the Justice Dept., in May 2001. Senate Democrats, who argued that Estrada's views were too conservative, thwarted the nomination through use of the filibuster; Republicans repeatedly failed to muster the 60 votes needed to break it.

Bush Asks $87 Bil for Iraq - Pres. Bush, in a TV address Sept. 7, asked Congress for $87 bil to pay for the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq. Of that, $66 bil would go for the cost of military and intelligence operations and about $20 bil would assist the economic recovery of Iraq. A small portion would go to postwar operations in Afghanistan.

Ex-Enron Officer Gets Prison Sentence - For the first time, Sept. 10, a former officer with the bankrupt Enron Corp. was sentenced to prison in connection with that company's wrongdoing. On that day, in U.S. district court in Houston, Ben Glisan Jr., Enron's former treasurer, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal wire fraud. He had sought to conceal almost $1 bil in company losses in an off-balance-sheet partnership that did not appear on Enron's financial records. Judge Kenneth Hoyt sentenced him to 5 years in prison; he was also required to give up $938,000 in profits from his illegal transaction.

Clark Enters Presidential Race - Gen. Wesley Clark (ret.) said Sept. 17 that he would seek the Democratic presidential nomination. Clark had graduated first in his class at West Point and earned a master's degree from Oxford, which he attended as a Rhodes scholar; in Vietnam, he received a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. As supreme commander of NATO, he led the 1999 bombing of Serbia during the war in Kosovo. After leaving the army, Clark had been an investment banker in Little Rock, AR, his hometown, and a TV commentator.

Three candidates for the Democratic nomination who had been campaigning for months officially declared their intentions. Announcing Sept. 2 in South Carolina, Sen. John Kerry (MA) said Pres. Bush had a "radical vision" of government that favored the rich over ordinary Americans. Officially declaring his candidacy Sept. 16, Sen. John Edwards (NC) called Bush a champion of the rich. Former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun declared officially Sept. 22.

A flurry of mid-September polls showed that Bush's job-approval rating had declined to around 50% and that several Democratic aspirants might run strongly against him. Clark said Sept. 18 that he "probably" would have voted for an October 2002 congressional resolution authorizing Bush to attack Iraq, but the next day he backtracked on this position. On Sept. 23, Rep. Richard Gephardt (MO) received his 13th labor-union endorsement, from the 840,000-member Laborers International Union of North America.

On Sept. 25, all 10 candidates joined in a debate in New York City. Several candidates criticized the views of Dean, who was widely regarded as the front-runner, based on polls.

Stock Exchange CEO Resigns After Outcry - Richard Grasso, chairman and CEO of the New York Stock Exchange, resigned under fire, Sept. 17. On Sept. 2, William Donaldson, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, had ordered the NYSE to provide details of Grasso's retirement package. Grasso in 2003 was taking $139.5 mil in deferred pay and retirement benefits. He said Sept. 9 that he would forgo $48 mil in additional income due to him in the next 4 years. Donaldson, Grasso's predecessor, had received a top salary of $1.85 mil. NY State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, Sept. 16, questioned the relationship between Grasso and members of the compensation committee that determined his pay; many on the committee headed corporations subject to NYSE regulation, and many had been nominated to the committee by Grasso.

California Recall Vote to Proceed - The last legal hurdle to an Oct. 7 gubernatorial recall election in California was cleared Sept. 23, when the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a ruling by a 3-judge court panel that the vote should be postponed because punch-card voting machines were unreliable. Former baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth left the race Sept. 9. State Sen. Tom McClintock (R), declaring himself the only true conservative with a chance to win, said Sept. 13 he would stay in, though he appeared to trail Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger, a movie star with high name recognition, appeared in some polls to be leading among candidates to succeed Gov. Gray Davis, if Davis lost the recall vote, with Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamente (D) running second. Five of the 135 candidates for governor debated in Sacramento Sept. 24. Schwarzenegger and McClintock urged cuts in taxes and spending, while Bustamente and Peter Camejo, the Green Party candidate, favored an upper-income tax increase.

Chaplain, Airman Detained in Spy Inquiries - Two members of the U.S. military stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were detained. The government Sept. 20 announced that Army Capt. James Yee, a West Point graduate who had changed his name to Youssef Yee, was being held as part of a spy investigation. Yee, who had commanded a missile battery, was currently a Muslim chaplain counseling prisoners at Guantanamo. On Sept. 23, the U.S. Defense Dept. announced that Senior Airman Ahmad al-Halabi, an Arabic translator, had been charged with passing military secrets to Syria. Some 660 suspected terrorists were imprisoned at Guantanamo.


UN Cool to New U.S. Resolution on Iraq - U.S. efforts to get more international support for the postwar reconstruction of Iraq met resistance. The United States, Sept. 3, began circulating a UN Security Council resolution that would authorize putting peacekeepers from many nations in Iraq. On Sept. 4, however, Pres. Jacques Chirac of France and Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany opposed the draft; the latter said stability could only be achieved by having the UN take charge of the process. On Sept. 1, the Iraqi governing council named a 25-member cabinet that would begin to assume responsibility for running departments of government. Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld toured Iraq Sept. 4-6 . Britain announced Sept. 8 that it would send 1,200 more troops to Iraq. On Sept. 12, U.S. soldiers, in error, fired on U.S.-trained Iraqi policemen in Falluja, killing or mortally wounding 10. A Jordanian guard was also killed. On Sept. 13 , Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin urged that an Iraqi interim government be established within a month that would report to the UN, not the United States. Sec. of State Colin Powell, during a visit to Baghdad Sept. 14, described the proposal as unrealistic.

On Sept. 17, stating a new position on a hotly debated point, Pres. George W. Bush said, "We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September the 11th." (Vice Pres. Dick Cheney, in a TV interview Sept. 14 , seemed to view an Iraq-9/11 link as more likely, saying, "We just don't know.") Three U.S. soldiers were killed in an ambush near Tikrit Sept. 18 . Sen. Edward Kennedy (D, MA) charged Sept. 18 that the war was a "fraud . . . made up in Texas" to give Republicans a political boost. On Sept. 19, former Iraqi Defense Min. Gen. Sultan Hashem Ahmed al-Tai surrendered to U.S. authorities in Mosul. Akila al-Hashemi, one of 3 women on the Iraqi governing council, was shot near her home in Baghdad; she died Sept. 25. She reportedly had received threats for collaborating with U.S. authorities. A bomb exploded outside UN headquarters in Baghdad Sept. 22, killing the bomber and a guard and wounding 19. The UN said Sept. 25 that it was withdrawing more staff from Iraq.

The annual series of speeches by world leaders to the UN General Assembly began in New York Sept. 23 . Sec. Gen. Kofi Annan warned that unilateralism and preemptive action threatened to undermine the UN mission. Speaking the same day, Pres. Bush defended the use of force in Iraq as consistent with UN policy, and he appealed to other nations to help rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan. He said the U.S. would support an expanded UN role in Iraq, including the running of elections and the training of civil servants. Pres. Chirac urged the transfer of power to the Iraqis on a "realistic timetable." Powell Sept. 25 set a 6-month deadline for Iraqi leaders to come up with a new constitution.

Palestinian Prime Minister Resigns; Israel Threatens Arafat - The short stormy tenure of Mahmoud Abbas as the Palestinian prime minister ended Sept. 6 with his resignation. He complained of a lack of support from Palestinian leaders, of a failure by Israel to follow the blueprint of the so-called road map to peace, and of U.S. failure to keep the pressure on Israel to comply. Yasir Arafat, leader of the Palestinian Authority, had resisted Abbas's efforts to get more control over the Palestinian security services. Ahmed Qurei, speaker of the Palestinian parliament, Sept. 10 accepted Arafat's nomination to become prime minister.

Acts of violence occurred on both sides of the conflict. On Sept. 6 , Israeli planes bombed the home of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, cofounder and spiritual leader of the militant organization Hamas, wounding him and 14 others. Palestinian suicide bombers killed 13 Israelis in 2 attacks Sept.9. In a statement issued Sept. 11, the 11-member Israeli security cabinet suggested that Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat might be expelled from Palestinian territory. Sec. of State Colin Powell warned Sept. 12 that such a move might just make Arafat more of a hero.

Up to 200 Taliban Militia Killed in Afghanistan - Amid reports that supporters of the ousted Taliban regime in Afghanistan were reorganizing, U.S. military forces accelerated their military operations. Lt. Gen. John Vines, the U.S. commander, said Sept. 7 that up to 200 Taliban fighters had been killed in clashes during the past 2 weeks. Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld met in Kabul Sept. 7 with Pres. Hamid Karzai.

World Trade Talks Collapse in Mexico - Trade negotiations aimed at helping poor and developing nations collapsed in failure in Cancun, Mexico, Sept. 14 . Trade ministers and other representatives of 146 countries had come together Sept. 10 for a meeting of the World Trade Organization, seeking to open markets and increase free trade. Poor countries sought to dissuade wealthier countries from spending nearly $300 bil annually for agricultural subsidies, which they contended hurt their small farmers. The poor countries refused to discuss other issues first, as demanded by some wealthier countries. The meeting then adjourned without any headway being made.

Swedish Voters Reject Euro as Currency - In a Sept. 14 referendum, 56% of Swedish voters rejected a proposal to adopt the euro as the national currency. Twelve of the 15 European Union members now used the euro; the vote kept Sweden, along with Britain and Denmark, outside the euro zone. A leading advocate of the euro, Foreign Minister Anna Lindh, was stabbed in a Stockholm department store, Sept. 10, and died the next day; the motivation of her assailant, who escaped, was not known.

Putin Rebuffs Bush on Nuclear Reactor for Iran - Pres. Vladimir Putin of Russia said Sept. 27 that his country would go on with its plan to help Iran build a nuclear reactor. For 2 years, Pres. Bush had sought to persuade Putin to end the $800 mil commercial nuclear contract, concerned that materials obtained for the program could be used to build weapons. Putin made his announcement during a joint news conference with Bush at Camp David, MD.


Catholic Church Settles With Victims of Abuse - On Sept. 9, the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Boston and lawyers representing about 550 victims of sexual abuse by priests announced a settlement that could run to $85 mil. A mediator would divide up the money, $80,000 to $300,000 per victim, based on the circumstances of the abuse. The archdiocese would also pay for psychological counseling.

Hurricane Claims 38 Lives - Hurricane Isabel struck the North Carolina coast Sept. 18 and plowed inland, wreaking havoc in many states and causing the deaths of at least 38 people. Property damage was put at $5 bil. Virginia had the highest death toll, at least 23. At sea, Isabel had winds in excess of 150 miles per hour, but the winds had declined to less than 100 mph by the time the hurricane made landfall along the Outer Banks. Extensive flooding occurred in many coastal cities, including Baltimore and Annapolis, Md. Some 4 mil people lost electric power, and the federal government in Washington, DC, largely closed down Sept. 18-19. Isabel dissipated over Lake Erie Sept. 19.

Sports Highlights

A year after winning his record 14th major singles title at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, NY, 5-time U.S. Open champ, Pete Sampras returned to announce his formal retirement Aug. 25 at the 2003 opening ceremonies. Justine Henin-Hardenne defeated fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters 7-5, 6-1, Sept. 6 to win the women's singles title. It was the 2nd Grand Slam title for Henin-Hardenne, who also defeated Clijsters in the final of the 2003 French Open. In the men's final on Sept. 7, 21-year-old American Andy Roddick beat Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-3, to win his first Grand Slam.

Led by Sweden's Annika Sorenstam, the Europeans reclaimed the Solheim Cup with a record score of 17.5-10.5 Sept. 14 in Loddekopinge, Sweden. Europe reached the 14-1/2points needed to win with 5 matches in progress on the final day. In a move unprecedented in the Solheim Cup or the similar men's Ryder Cup, the trailing players conceded, and the players all walked off the course.

On Sept. 14, Ravens running back Jamal Lewis set a new NFL single-game rushing record of 295 yards in Baltimore's 33-13 win over the Cleveland Browns. Lewis, who averaged 9.8 yards on 30 carries, had gained 180 yards by halftime. He scored on runs of 82 and 63 yards. The previous record of 278 yards was set by Cincinnati's Corey Dillon in 2000.

The 2003 Major League Baseball season ended Sept. 28. The National League Division winners were Atlanta, Chicago, and San Francisco. Florida made the playoffs as a wildcard. In the American League, the Division winners were the NY Yankees, Minnesota, and Oakland. The wildcard was Boston. On Sept. 30, the playoffs were scheduled to begin with New York at Minnesota, Chicago at Atlanta, and San Francisco at Florida. Boston and Oakland were scheduled to meet Oct. 1. The AL batting title went to Boston's Bill Mueller, who finished with a .326 avg. St. Louis's Albert Pujols (.35871) edged out Colorado's Todd Helton (.35849) in the closest NL batting title race ever.

At the Berlin Marathon Sept. 28 Kenyan Paul Tergat set a new world record, winning in 2 hours, 4 minutes, and 55 seconds. Countryman Sammy Korir, hired as a pace-setter, finished 1 second behind. Both men were under the previous world record of 2:05:38 set by American Khalid Khannouchi at the 2003 London Marathon in April. Titus Munji, another Kenyan pace-setter, finished 3rd in 2:06:15 to become the 6th fastest marathoner in history.


Africa's biggest natural lake is Lake Victoria, with an area of nearly 27,000 square miles.

Offbeat News Stories

Kevin Seabrooke

Total Recall (2003)

No Hollywood script could have provided more entertainment than the Gubernatorial recall election, set to take place in California, Tuesday, October 7, 2003. Californians, unhappy with Governor Gray Davis (D), elected in November 2002, collected over 2 million signatures, in an attempt to oust him from office. Voters will first need to decide whether to recall Davis, and then vote for a replacement, in case he loses. Among the 135 certified candidates are the Democratic Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante, Republican State Senator Tom McClintock, action star Arnold Schwarzenegger, child star Gary Coleman, Hustler magazine editor Larry Flynt, adult film star Mary Carey, smashing watermelon comedian Gallagher. Arianna Huffington, the former conservative turned liberal maverick columnist, dropped out of the race on Sept. 30. In order not to favor any one candidate, the ballots will not list candidates in alphabetic order, but instead by letters randomly selected. Below is a list of those candidates certified to run for Governor (some have since dropped out):

CERTIFIED LIST OF CANDIDATES - October 7, 2003 Statewide Special Election

IRIS ADAM, Natural Law, Business Analyst
BROOKE ADAMS, Independent, Business Executive
ALEX-ST. JAMES, Republican, Public Policy Strategist
DOUGLAS ANDERSON, Republican, Mortgage Broker
ANGELYNE, Independent, Entertainer
MOHAMMAD ARIF, Independent, Businessman
BADI BADIOZAMANI, Independent, Entrepreneur/Author/Executive
VIK S. BAJWA, Democratic, Businessman/Father/Entrepreneur
JOHN W. BEARD, Republican, Businessman
ED BEYER, Republican, Chief Operations Officer
VIP BHOLA, Republican, Attorney/Business owner
CHERYL BLY-CHESTER, Republican, Businesswoman/Environmental Engineer
AUDIE BOCK, Democratic, Educator/Small Businesswoman
JOEL BRITTON, Independent, Retired Meat Packer
ART BROWN, Democratic, Film Writer/Director
JOHN CHRISTOPHER BURTON, Independent, Civil Rights Lawyer
CRUZ M. BUSTAMANTE, Democratic, Lieutenant Governor
PETER MIGUEL CAMEJO, Green, Financial Investment Advisor
TODD CARSON, Republican, Real Estate Developer
WILLIAM "BILL" S. CHAMBERS, Republican, Railroad Switchman/Brakeman
MICHAEL CHELI, Independent, Businessman
D. (LOGAN DARROW) CLEMENTS, Republican, Businessman
GARY COLEMAN, Independent, Actor
MARY "MARY CAREY" COOK, Independent, Adult Film Actress
ROBERT CULLENBINE, Democratic, Retired Businessman
SCOTT DAVIS, Independent, Business Owner
ROBERT "BUTCH" DOLE, Republican, Small Business Owner
BOB LYNN EDWARDS, Democratic, Attorney
WARREN FARRELL, Democratic, Fathers' Issues Author
DAN FEINSTEIN, Democratic, No Ballot Designation Requested
LARRY FLYNT, Democratic, Publisher
GENE FORTE, Republican, Executive Recruiter/Entrepreneur
DIANA FOSS, Democratic, No ballot designation requested
RONALD J. FRIEDMAN, Independent, Physician
LEO GALLAGHER, Independent, Comedian
GEROLD LEE GORMAN, Democratic, Engineer
RICH GOSSE, Republican, Educator
JAMES H. GREEN, Democratic, Firefighter Paramedic/Nurse
JACK LOYD GRISHAM, Independent, Musician/Laborer
GARRETT GRUENER, Democratic, High-Tech Entrepreneur
JOE GUZZARDI, Democratic, Teacher/Journalist
IVAN A. HALL, Green, Custom Denture Manufacturer
KEN HAMIDI, Libertarian, State Tax Officer
SARA ANN HANLON, Independent, Businesswoman
C. STEPHEN HENDERSON, Independent, Teacher
RALPH A. HERNANDEZ, Democratic, District Attorney Inspector
JOHN J. "JACK" HICKEY, Libertarian, Healthcare District Director
JIM HOFFMANN, Republican, Teacher
S. ISSA, Republican, Engineer
MICHAEL JACKSON, Republican, Satellite Project Manager
TREK THUNDER KELLY, Independent, Business Executive/Artist
EDWARD "ED" KENNEDY, Democratic, Businessman/Educator
D.E. KESSINGER, Democratic, Paralegal/Property Manager
KELLY P. KIMBALL, Democratic, Business Executive
STEPHEN L. KNAPP, Republican, Engineer
ERIC KOREVAAR, Democratic, Scientist/Businessman
JERRY KUNZMAN, Independent, Chief Executive Officer
DICK LANE, Democratic, Educator
GARY LEONARD, Democratic, Photojournalist/Author
TODD RICHARD LEWIS, Independent, Businessman
CALVIN Y. LOUIE, Democratic, CPA
FRANK A. MACALUSO, JR., Democratic, Physician/Medical Doctor
PAUL "CHIP" MAILANDER, Democratic, Golf Professional
ROBERT C. MANNHEIM, Democratic, Retired Businessperson
BRUCE MARGOLIN, Democratic, Marijuana Legalization Attorney
PAUL MARIANO, Democratic, Attorney
GINO MARTORANA, Republican, Restaurant Owner
MIKE P. MCCARTHY, Independent, Used Car Dealer
BOB MCCLAIN, Independent, Civil Engineer
TOM MCCLINTOCK, Republican, State Senator
MIKE MCNEILLY, Republican, Artist
SCOTT A. MEDNICK, Democratic, Business Executive
CARL A. MEHR, Republican, Businessman
JONATHAN MILLER, Democratic, Small Business Owner
DARRYL L. MOBLEY, Independent, Businessman/Entrepreneur
JEFFREY L. MOCK, Republican, Business Owner
JOHN "JACK" MORTENSEN, Democratic, Contractor/Businessman
DORENE MUSILLI, Republican, Parent/Educator/Businesswoman
PAUL NAVE, Democratic, Businessman/Prizefighter/Father
ROBERT C. NEWMAN II, Republican, Psychologist/Farmer
LEONARD PADILLA, Independent, Law School President
RONALD JASON PALMIERI, Democratic, Gay Rights Attorney
GREGORY J. PAWLIK, Republican, Realtor/Businessman
HEATHER PETERS, Republican, Mediator
CHARLES "CHUCK" PINEDA JR., Democratic, State Hearing Officer
BILL PRADY, Democratic, Television Writer/Producer
DARIN PRICE, Natural Law, University Chemistry Instructor
BRYAN QUINN, Republican, Businessman
JEFF RAINFORTH, Independent, Marketing Coordinator
DANIEL C. "DANNY" RAMIREZ, Democratic, Businessman/Entrepreneur/Father
CHRISTOPHER RANKEN, Democratic, Planning Commissioner
REVA RENEE RENZ, Republican, Small Business Owner
DANIEL W. RICHARDS, Republican, Businessman
KEVIN RICHTER, Republican, Information Technology Manager
KURT E. "TACHIKAZE" RIGHTMYER, Independent, Middleweight Sumo Wrestler
DAVID LAUGHING HORSE ROBINSON, Democratic, Tribal Chairman
NED ROSCOE, Libertarian, Cigarette Retailer
SHARON RUSHFORD, Independent, Businesswoman
GEORGY RUSSELL, Democratic, Software Engineer
JAMIE ROSEMARY SAFFORD, Republican, Business Owner
DAVID RONALD SAMS, Republican, Businessman/Producer/Writer
DARRIN H. SCHEIDLE, Democratic, Businessman/Entrepreneur
MIKE SCHMIER, Democratic, Attorney
GEORGE B. SCHWARTZMAN, Independent, Businessman
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Republican, Actor/Businessman
RICHARD J. SIMMONS, Independent, Attorney/Businessperson
BILL SIMON, Republican, Businessman
B.E. SMITH, Independent, Lecturer
RANDALL D. SPRAGUE, Republican, Discrimination Complaint Investigator
CHRISTOPHER SPROUL, Democratic, Environmental Attorney
LAWRENCE STEVEN STRAUSS, Democratic, Lawyer/Businessperson/Student
TIM SYLVESTER, Democratic, Entrepreneur
A. LAVAR TAYLOR, Democratic, Tax Attorney
DIANE BEALL TEMPLIN, American Independent, Attorney/Realtor/Businesswoman PATRICIA G. TILLEY, Independent, Attorney
BRIAN TRACY, Independent, Businessman/Consultant
WILLIAM TSANGARES, Republican, Businessperson
PETER V. UEBERROTH, Republican, Businessman
MARC VALDEZ, Democratic, Air Pollution Scientist
JAMES M. VANDEVENTER, JR., Republican, Salesman/Businessman
PAUL W. VANN, Republican, Financial Planner
BILL VAUGHN, Democratic, Structural Engineer
VAN VO, Republican, Radio Producer/Businessman
CHUCK WALKER, Republican, Business Intelligence Analyst
MAURICE WALKER, Green, Real Estate Appraiser
DANIEL WATTS, Green, College Student
C.T. WEBER, Peace and Freedom, Labor Official/Analyst
JIM WEIR, Democratic, Community College Teacher
LINGEL H. WINTERS, Democratic, Consumer Business Attorney
MICHAEL J. WOZNIAK, Democratic, Retired Police Officer
JON W. ZELLHOEFER, Republican, Energy Consultant/Entrepreneur

Noted Personalities: Ancient Greeks and Latins


Aeschines, orator, 389-314BC.
Aeschylus, dramatist, 525-456BC.
Aesop, fableist, c620-c560BC.
Alcibiades, politician, 450-404BC.
Anacreon, poet, c582-c485BC.
Anaxagoras, philosopher, c500-428BC.
Anaximander, philosopher, 611-546BC.
Anaximenes, philosopher, c570-500BC.
Antiphon, speechwriter, c480-411BC.
Apollonius, mathematician, c265-170BC.
Archimedes, math. 287-212BC.
Aristophanes, dramatist, c448-380BC.
Aristotle, philosopher, 384-322BC.
Athenaeus, scholar, fl. c200.
Callicrates, architect, fl. 5th cent.BC.
Callimachus, poet, c305-240BC.
Cratinus, comic dramatist, 520-421BC.
Democritus, philosopher, c460-370BC.
Demosthenes, orator, 384-322BC.
Diodorus, historian, fl. 20BC.
Diogenes, philosopher, 372-c287BC.
Dionysius, historian, d. c7BC.
Empedocles, philosopher, c490-430BC.
Epicharmus, dramatist, c530-440BC.
Epictetus, philosopher, c55-c135.
Epicurus, philosopher, 341-270BC.
Eratosthenes, scientist, 276-194BC.
Euclid, mathematician, fl. c300BC.
Euripides, dramatist, c484-406BC.
Galen, physician, 130-200.
Heraclitus, philosopher, c540-c475BC.
Herodotus, historian, c484-420BC.
Hesiod, poet, 8th cent. BC.
Hippocrates, physician, c460-377BC.
Homer, poet, fl. c700BC (?).
Isocrates, orator, 436-338BC.
Menander, dramatist, 342-292BC.
Parmenides, philosopher, b c515BC.
Pericles, statesman, c495-429BC.
Phidias, sculptor, c500-435BC.
Pindar, poet, c518-c438BC.
Plato, philosopher, c428-347BC.
Plutarch, biographer, c46-120.
Polybius, historian, c200-c118BC.
Praxiteles, sculptor, 400-330BC.
Pythagoras, phil., math., c580-c500BC.
Sappho, poet, c610-c580BC.
Simonides, poet, 556-c468BC.
Socrates, philosopher, 469-399BC.
Solon, statesman, 640-560BC.
Sophocles, dramatist, c496-406BC.
Strabo, geographer, c63BC-AD24.
Thales, philosopher, c634-546BC.
Themistocles, politician, c524-c460BC.
Theocritus, poet, c310-250BC.
Theophrastus, phil., c372-c287BC.
Thucydides, historian, fl. 5th cent.BC.
Timon, philosopher, c320-c230BC.
Xenophon, historian, c434-c355BC.
Zeno, philosopher, c335-c263BC.


Ammianus, historian, c330-395.
Apuleius, satirist, c124-c170.
Boethius, scholar, c480-524.
Caesar, Julius, leader, 100-44BC.
Catiline, politician, c108-62BC.
Cato (Elder), statesman, 234-149BC.
Catullus, poet, c84-54BC.
Cicero, orator, 106-43BC.
Claudian, poet, c370-c404.
Ennius, poet, 239-170BC.
Gellius, author, c130-c165.
Horace, poet, 65-8BC.
Juvenal, satirist, 60-127.
Livy, historian, 59BC-AD17.
Lucan, poet, 39-65.
Lucilius, poet, c180-c102BC.
Lucretius, poet, c99-c55BC.
Martial, epigrammatist, c38-c103.
Nepos, historian, c100-c25BC.
Ovid, poet, 43BC-AD17.
Persius, satirist, 34-62.
Plautus, dramatist, c254-c184BC.
Pliny the Elder, scholar, 23-79.
Pliny the Younger, author, 62-113.
Quintilian, rhetorician, c35-c97.
Sallust, historian, 86-34BC.
Seneca, philosopher, 4BC-AD65.
Silius, poet, c25-101.
Statius, poet, c45-c96.
Suetonius, biographer, c69-c122.
Tacitus, historian, 56-120.
Terence, dramatist, 185-c159BC.
Tibullus, poet, c55-c19BC.
Vergil, poet, 70-19BC.
Vitruvius, architect, fl. 1st cent.BC.

Links of the Month

Edward A. Thomas, Editor in Chief

Have you ever felt ill, but were reluctant to go to the doctor? At WebMD, you can review symptoms and get an idea of what steps you should take to react to the situation at hand. Let's say you have been bitten by an insect; if one of your symptoms includes signs of an infection, the site gives you examples of circumstances where a health professional should be called immediately, or if you should hold off a few days. The site includes a medical library, information about drugs and herbs, illustrated guides to various conditions, as well as information on diet and nutrition. (Of course, you must be careful when evaluating this kind of information and you can only rely on it at your own risk.)

My sister Barbara asked me how it was, that her birthday didn't appear in last month's Born This Day. Ah Barbara, I just can't do it until you are world-famous! (You don't see my birthday in this month's list, do you?) But let's talk about some famous Barbara's. To start with there is Barbara Kingsolver, the writer, who was raised in rural Kentucky and began as a science journalist; she is now a leading American author. To learn more about Kingsolver, and her books, visit: In 1972, Barbara Jordan became the first African American woman from the South elected to the U.S. Congress. She became one of the country's leading supporters of the Constitution. To learn more about Jordan, visit: Then there is the song Barbara Ann (also using what happens to be my sisters middle name), that was made popular by the Beach Boys: And let's not forget the beautiful Santa Barbara, along California's coast, a city shaped by its Spanish past:

It was nearly twenty years ago when I visited Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. This cathedral, constructed from 1163 to 1265, it is a considered a jewel in Gothic style architecture, well known for its Rose window, and gargoyles. To learn more about this cathedral and about Gothic architecture in general, visit Earthlore Gothic Dreams at:

Ken Grimwood died this past June, and to the best of my knowledge, he won't be back. Grimwood was the author of the 1987 cult classic novel, Replay, the story of Jeff Winston, a 43-year-old, who dies of a heart attack, and then awakens to find himself back at college in 1963, in his 18-year-old body and having all the memories of the life he just departed. I first read a dog eared paperback copy of this book, in 1989, on the recommendation of a friend. Since that time, I've read it several times, and shared a hardcover version of the book with numerous friends, letting them sign the endpapers afterwards (at least 30 people have read it). I also have purchased copies and given them as gifts. There is something universally fascinating about have a second chance to live your life; the reality of the situation though is that it teaches you a lesson to live life to the fullest this time around. To learn more about Grimwood and his book, visit: &

Does anyone remember the man, or the ship General Slocum? Henry W. Slocum (1827-1894) was a major-general during the U.S. Civil War and fought in engagements of the Army of the Potomac, from Fredericksburg to Gettysburg. The other General Slocum, was an excursion ferry, that took New Yorkers on day trips up the East River to Long Island, during the subsequent the turn of the century. On June 15, 1904, some 1,300 members of a German immigrant community, boarded the ship for an outing, which soon turned disastrous. A fire on board the vessel quickly went out of control, and within hours, over 1,000 had perished. To learn more about General Henry W. Slocum, visit: To learn more about the General Slocum disaster, visit: Of course you can compare the death toll to that of many other major ship disasters by thumbing through the Disasters chapter in The World Almanac and Book of Facts.

Unusual Site of the Month: The Furnace Sticker Museum

© World Almanac Education Group

World Almanac E-Newsletter
Edward A. Thomas, Editor in Chief

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