Volume 08, Number 05— May 2008

What's in this issue?

May Events
May Holidays — National and International
This Day In History — May
May Birthdays
Travel - Rotterdam: On the Cutting Edge of Modern Architecture
Obituaries - April 2008
The Best of the World Almanac Blog
Chronology - April 2008
It's All in the Numbers
Offbeat News Stories
Links of the Month
Quote of the Month
How to reach us


May Events

May 1-4 - Festival of Nations (St. Paul, MN)
May 2-4 - Toad Suck Daze (Conway, AR)
May 3 - Kentucky Derby (Louisville)
May 3-4 - Dandelion May Fest (Dover, OH)
May 8 - Helston Furry Dance (Cornwall, England)
May 9-10 - Elektra Goat BBQ Cook-Off & Arts and Crafts Show (Texas)
May 10 - Art Car Parade (Houston, TX)
May 14-18 - Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee (Angels Camp, CA)
May 14-25 - Cannes Film Festival (France)
May 16 - National Bike to Work Day
May 16-17 - Rhubarb Festival (Intercourse, PA)
May 16-18 - Dulcimer Days (Coshocton, OH)
May 17 - Preakness Stakes (Baltimore, MD)
May 17 - O. Henry Museum Pun-Off World Championship (Austin, TX)
May 18 - Bay to Breakers Race (San Francisco, CA)
May 22-25 - Mudbug Madness (Shreveport, LA)
May 23-26 - World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest (Peoria, IL)
May 24 - Grubstake Days (Yucca Valley, CA)
May 24-26 - Taste of Cincinnati (Ohio)
May 25 - Indianapolis 500 (Indiana)
May 25-June 8 - French Open tennis tournament (Paris)
May 28-June 8 - Beef Empire Days (Garden City, KS)
May 28-29 - Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals (Washington, DC)
May 29-June 1 - BookExpo America (Los Angeles, CA)

May Holidays — National and International

May 1 - May Day
May 2 - Kentucky Derby
May 5 - Cinco de Mayo (Mexico)
May 11 - Mother's Day
May 17 - Armed Forces Day
May 19 - Victoria Day (Canada)
May 26 - Memorial Day

It's a Fact!

Audrey Hepburn was trained as a dental assistant before beginning her career in acting.

This Day In History — May

Day Year Event
Day Year Event
01 1939 Francisco Franco and his Nationalist forces are victorious in the Spanish Civil War.
02 1513 Juan Ponce de León discovers Florida and claims it for Spain.
03 1933 Two airplanes, manned by British crews, fly over the top of Mt. Everest for the first time.
04 1841 Pres. William Henry Harrison dies after only 1 month in office.
05 1792 George Washington casts the first presidential veto, concerning representative apportionment among the states.
06 1830 The Mormon church is organized by Joseph Smith in Fayette, NY.
07 1948 The World Health Organization is established by the UN.
08 1974 Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves baseball team breaks Babe Ruth's career home run record when he hits #715 in Atlanta.
09 1865 The Civil War ends when Gen. Robert E. Lee surrenders 27,800 Confederate troops to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, VA.
10 1896 Greek runner Spiridon Louis wins the gold medal in the first modern Olympic marathon, in Athens, Greece.
11 1951 Gen. Douglas MacArthur is relieved of command in Korea by Pres. Harry Truman.
12 1934 The strongest wind ever reliably measured on the surface of the earth (225 mph) is recorded on Mount Washington in New Hampshire.
13 1742 Composer George Frideric Handel's Messiah has its premiere in Dublin, Ireland.
14 1894 Thomas Edison's kinetoscope, or motion picture machine, is given its first public showing.
15 1912 The luxury liner Titanic, which hit an iceberg the night before, sinks in the early morning hours; more than 1,500 die.
16 1917 Vladimir I. Lenin returns to Russia in a sealed train after years in exile.
17 1961 Cuban exiles - trained, armed, and directed by the United States - unsuccessfully try to invade Cuba's Bay of Pigs to overthrow Fidel Castro.
18 1906 A huge earthquake and subsequent fires begin in San Francisco, with 500 dying in the earthquake and another 200 in the fires.
19 1943 A revolt begins by Jewish residents of Poland's Warsaw Ghetto against German troops.
20 1969 Princeton University announces it will admit women to its undergraduate program for the first time in its 223-year history.
21 1918 The Red Baron - German flying ace Baron Manfred von Richtofen - is shot down and killed during World War I's Battle of the Somme.
22 2000 Armed U.S. Immigration agents stage predawn raid to seize 6-year-old Cuban refugee Elián González from his Miami relatives and reunite him with his father in Cuba.
23 1910 Sicily's Mount Etna erupts.
24 1981 IBM introduces its first personal computer.
25 1945 Delegates from 50 nations meet in San Francisco for what is officially known as the United Nations Conference on International Organization. Over two months, they draw up the United Nations charter.
26 1994 South Africa begins holding multiparty elections in which blacks are allowed to vote for the first time in the nation's history.
27 1865 The steamboat Sultana explodes in the Mississippi, killing some 1,450 passengers.
28 1945 Italian partisans kill Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.
29 1945 U.S. troops liberate the concentration camp in Dachau, Germany
30 1945 German dictator Adolf Hitler commits suicide in his Berlin bunker.
31 1790 Pres. George Washington signs the first U.S. copyright law.

May Birthdays

Day Year  
Day Year  
01 1932 Debbie Reynolds, actress (El Paso, TX)
02 1947 Camille Paglia, literary and cultural critic (Endicott, NY)
03 1934 Jane Goodall, anthropologist (London, England)
04 1928 Maya Angelou, author/poet (St. Louis, MO)
05 1937 Colin Powell, secretary of state (New York, NY)
06 1928 James D. Watson, biochemist and codiscoverer of the structure of DNA (El Paso, TX)
07 1939 David Frost, TV personality (Tenterden, England)
08 1938 Kofi Annan, UN secretary general (Kumasi, Ghana)
09 1933 Jean-Paul Belmondo, actor (Neuilly-sur-Seine, France)
10 1915 Harry Morgan, actor (Detroit, MI)
11 1948 Ellen Goodman, columnist (Newton, MA)
12 1979 Claire Danes, actress (New York, NY)
13 1963 Garry Kasparov, former world chess champion (Baku, Azerbaijan, USSR)
14 1963 Cynthia Cooper, basketball player (Chicago, IL)
15 1990 Emma Watson, actress (Oxford, England)
16 1947 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, basketball player (New York, NY)
17 1972 Jennifer Garner, actress (Houston, TX)
18 1963 Conan O'Brien, TV personality (Brookline, MA)
19 1962 Al Unser Jr., auto racer (Albuquerque, NM)
20 1920 John Paul Stevens, Supreme Court justice (Chicago, IL)
21 1926 Queen Elizabeth II, queen of the United Kingdom (London, England)
22 1937 Jack Nicholson, actor (Neptune, NJ)
23 1928 Shirley Temple Black, child actress and diplomat (Santa Monica, CA)
24 1942 Barbra Streisand, singer/actress/director (Brooklyn, NY)
25 1976 Tim Duncan, basketball player (St. Croix, Virgin Islands)
26 1917 I. M. Pei, architect (Canton, China)
27 1922 Jack Klugman, actor (Philadelphia, PA)
28 1926 Harper Lee, author (Monroeville, AL)
29 1957 Daniel Day-Lewis, actor (London, England)
30 1955 Jane Campion, director (Wellington, New Zealand)
31 1930 Clint Eastwood, actor/director (San Francisco, CA)

Travel - Rotterdam: On the Cutting Edge of Modern Architecture

Probably every big city has something that makes it special. Rotterdam, the second largest city in the Netherlands, has two. It is one of the biggest commercial ports in the world. And though it is an old town, decades of new construction have transformed it into an eclectic showcase of modern architecture, art, and design, shining with vibrant colors and captivating shapes.

Urban charms

Thanks to the powerful economic engine of the port, Rotterdam has a busy, hectic air, along with an unusual cultural diversity - at least a sixth of the population is Muslim. And it offers lots of attractions for residents and visitors to enjoy, including lively bars and clubs, shopping opportunities aplenty, a full festival calendar, and a wide array of museums.

Among the city's annual events are an international film festival in late January/early February, the Ortel Dunya world culture festival in May, and the world's biggest indoor jazz fest (North Sea Jazz Festival), along with a Caribbean-style summer carnival, in July. Europe's biggest dance parade (FFWD, Fit for Free Dance Parade) follows in August, and the year wraps up with the Kerstcircus Ahoy Christmas circus.

As expected the city has a fine maritime museum (focused on the history of Rotterdam Harbor). There also are notable museums devoted to tax and customs, local history, natural history, and photography, not to mention an outstanding zoo, Diergaarde Blijdorp. The zoo has a section, known as the Oceanium, which is devoted to underwater life and allows visitors to walk through a tunnel surrounded by sharks and giant tortoises.

Ravaged by war



Grote Kirk stands out as the only remaining building of Rotterdam's medieval architecture after heavy bombing by the German Luftwaffe during World War II.

Unlike many other Dutch towns, Rotterdam has little left from its distant past. Rotterdam traces its origins back to the 13th century or perhaps even earlier, but the central city was virtually obliterated by bombing during World War II. The only medieval building still standing today is the chief church, the Grote Kirk (or Sint Laurenskerk), constructed around 1449-1525. It suffered heavy damage in the war, and was subsequently rebuilt. (The Grote Kirk, by the way, offers a good view of the city from its tower, open to visitors on Saturdays between May and September.) The only structure of note surviving from the 17th century is the Schielandshuis, which houses the local history museum. Designed in the spirit of Dutch classicism but also featuring baroque elements, it was restored in 1981-85.

The destruction suffered in the war is memorialized in a striking monument near the maritime museum called Verwoeste Stad ("Devastated City"). An agonized bronze figure with a hole in its body, emblematic of the Germans' killing of the city's heart, it dates from the early 1950s and is one of the best-known works by the influential Russian-born French sculptor Ossip Zadkine, who was associated with the cubist movement.

City of architecture

Zadkine's work is an example of how Rotterdam chose to respond to its catastrophe - by re-creating itself through art, and new architecture. The city's contemporary style is epitomized by two landmarks that loom as huge contrasting shapes in its skyline. One is the Euromast, a thin tower 185 m (607) high that affords breathtaking views of the Rotterdam area. Visitors to the top who have an adventurous bent can choose to rope-slide back down to earth in just 15 seconds, Rappelling (abseiling) is also an option.

The second conspicuous landmark is the Erasmus Bridge across the Nieuwe Maas River (a branch of the Meuse). Built in 1996, it is a cable-stayed bridge 802 m (2630 ft) in length. The cables fan from a startlingly inclined 139-m (456-ft) pylon that has earned the bridge the nickname "The Swan" and has been compared to an upside-down tuning fork.

Rem Koolhaas, one of the superstars of modern architecture, hails from Rotterdam, and his firm, the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, is based there. The city's Kunsthal, a major venue for art, photography, and design exhibitions, is a good example of his early work.

Pao-Yu at picasaweb

De Kijk-kubus, built between 1978 and 1984

An iconic collection of structures strongly associated with Rotterdam and not to be missed is the group of kubuswoningen, or cube houses, designed by Dutch architect Piet Blom. These postmodern homes, built in the 1980s, are essentially tilted cubes sitting on top of hexagonal pylons. Blom likened them to trees grouped together in an oasis or forest, forming a sort of village in the big city. One of the cubes, dubbed the Kijk Kubus ("Show Cube"), is open to visitors. Additional odd shapes can be found nearby: an extremely tall and thin office building called the Pencil and a metro station resembling a giant disk.

On the museum front, Rotterdam's most important attraction for architecture buffs is the Netherlands Architecture Institute. Housed in an impressive 1993 building by Dutch architect Jo Coenen (1993), it has a library and offers both temporary and permanent exhibitions. It also operates the Huis Sonneveld in nearby Museum Park. A supermodern (in 1930s terms) villa exemplifying the Dutch New Building school, this abounds in color, light, and space.

City of art

Go for a walk in the central city and you'll be rewarded with a medley of murals, sculptures, and installations. There also are plenty of museums and galleries. Rotterdam's most famous art museum, the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, situated at Museum Park close to the Netherlands Architecture Institute, has rich, wide-ranging holdings, arrayed in a charmingly hodgepodge manner. A digital display is available for the more than 100,000 items in its collection not currently on view. The nearby sculpture garden also deserves a look.

Another notable museum, the cross-cultural Wereldmuseum ("World Arts Museum"), is closed for renovation but should reopen by 2009. An additional treat awaiting visitors in early 2009 is the tenth edition of the city's international art fair. Art Rotterdam is slated to be held on February 5"8. Taking place at about the same time is the second edition of Object Rotterdam, devoted to art design. On the agenda for later in 2009, incidentally, is the fourth edition of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam.

Other websites:
Port of Rotterdam
Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions

It's a Fact!

The Beatles performed their first U.S. concert in 1964 at Carnegie Hall.

Obituaries in April 2008

Brant, Henry, 94, avant-garde American composer who was best known for spatial music, in which there is planned positioning of performers in a hall and on stage to achieve a different sound from the music; Santa Barbara, CA, Apr 26, 2008.

Donati, Enrico, 99, Italian-born American Surrealist artist and sculptor, who moved on to other art phases including Constructivism and Abstract Expressionism; New York, NY, Apr 26, 2008.



William H. Stewart

Heston, Charlton, 83, actor known for memorable roles including Moses in The Ten Commandments (1956) and Michelangelo in The Agony and the Ecstacy (1965). Won an Academy Award for Best Actor in the title role of Ben-Hur (1959); also served as president of the National Rifle Association 1998-2003; Beverly Hills, CA, Apr 5, 2008.

Hofmann, Albert, 102, Swiss chemist who discovered lysergic acid diethylamide-25 (LSD) in 1938, while studying the medicinal effects of a fungus found on wheat; Basel, Switzerland, Apr 29, 2008.

Johnston, Oliver (Ollie), 95, the last of Disney's "Nine Old Men," who animated classic Disney films including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Fantasia (1940), and Bambi (1942); Palo Alto, CA, Apr 14, 2008.

Robinson, Will, 96, professional basketball and football scout who broke racial barriers when he became the first black man to hold an NCAA Division I head-coaching post, for Illinois State University; Detroit, MI, Apr 28, 2008.

Stewart, William H., 86, Surgeon General of the U.S. (1965-69) who put the first warnings on cigarette packs in 1966, and spoke publicly about environmental threats to health; New Orleans, LA, Apr 23, 2008.

Wheeler, John Archibald, 96, physicist credited with coining the term "black hole"; worked on the theoretical model for nuclear fission with Niehls Bohr, then on the Manhattan Project during World War II, and later on development of the hydrogen bomb with Edward Teller; Hightstown, NJ, Apr 13, 2008.

The Best of the World Almanac Blog

Sports Illustrated Free Online Archive - Andy Steinitz



Cover image (July 08, 1974) of Gerald Ford, the undisputed record holder for most NFL contracts declined by a future President.

I'm slightly embarrassed that I didn't catch this earlier. Sports Illustrated has opened up their entire back catalogue, or "vault," for free; more than 50 years of covers, articles, photos, and videos. The articles are available as searchable html or bundled up by the issue. The full issues, ad placement and all, are presented in a page-flipping online reader.

Sports Illustrated Vault

To get you started, here are some articles relating to some of the "Memorable Moments in Sports" from The World Almanac 2008:
Secretariat's Record-Breaking Triple Crown: History in the Making (June 18, 1973)
The Band is on the Field: The Week (November 29, 1982)
Strug's One-Legged Vault: Profile in Courage (August 5, 1996) also, Strug profile: Happy Landing (August 11, 1997)
Mike Tyson (vs. Evander Holyfield): Feeding Frenzy (July 7, 1997)

It's a Fact!

The Euro was originally set to be named the ecu, short for European currency unit, but Germans said it sounded too much like "kuh", their word for cow.

Chronology — April 2008


     Reports Shed New Light on Interrogation of Detainees, Administration Policies - The Justice Dept. declassified Apr. 1 a legal brief written in Mar. 2003 that had given military interrogators broad authority to use extreme methods when questioning detainees linked to Al Qaeda. The memorandum - prepared by John Yoo, who at that time was a deputy in the department's Office of Legal Counsel - held that when coercive interrogations of enemy combatants were properly authorized and carried out under the president's wartime powers, interrogators could not be prosecuted under generally applicable laws even if the detainee suffered serious physical harm. Yoo's memo also maintained that the executive branch's constitutional authority in wartime overrode international treaties barring torture or cruel treatment when interrogations were conducted overseas. The opinion, rescinded by the Justice Dept. in Dec. 2003, was in force at the time that U.S. military personnel abused detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.
     A footnote in the Mar. 2003 memo referred to an earlier opinion written by Yoo at the request of White House. In that classified document, prepared in Oct. 2001 and unavailable to the public, Yoo had maintained that Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure did not apply to the Bush administration's domestic antiterrorism program. Administration officials emphasized Apr. 2 that they no longer held this view.
     ABC News reported on its website Apr. 9 that members of the National Security Council's Principals Committee had repeatedly met in 2002-03 to discuss which specific interrogation methods would be used by the Central Intelligence Agency to interrogate certain high-value Al Qaeda detainees. The Principals Committee was chaired by then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and included Vice Pres. Dick Cheney, Defense Sec. Donald Rumsfeld, Sec. of State Colin Powell, CIA Director George Tenet, and Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft. According to ABC, Ashcroft - who had given general support to the interrogation policy - had left one meeting saying, "Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly." On Apr. 11, Pres. George W. Bush told ABC News White House correspondent Martha Raddatz that he had approved the meetings.

     Safety Concerns, Rising Fuel Costs Spell Trouble for Airline Industry - A problem-plagued month for U.S. air travelers, carriers, and regulators began with congressional testimony Apr. 3 from three Federal Aviation Agency inspectors, who recounted chronic maintenance lapses at Southwest Airlines. The inspectors told the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that when they complained about Southwest's safety compliance record, their supervisors had pressured them to drop the complaints, threatening their jobs. Calvin L. Scovel III, inspector general at the Dept. of Transportation, told the committee that the FAA had not audited Southwest's system for compliance with inspection requirements since 1999.
     Efforts by the FAA to tighten inspection policies had immediate consequences. On Apr. 7 an FAA review of American Airlines' MD-80 jetliners found nine aircraft in which bundles of wiring in wheel wells diverged from agency specifications. To correct the problem, American grounded all 300 of its MD-80s and, over the next five days, canceled some 3,300 flights, disrupting the travel of more than 100,000 passengers.
     Soaring fuel costs and a sour U.S. economy led three bankrupt airlines to cease operations within a one-week period: Aloha, Hawaii's second-largest airline, on Mar. 31; ATA, a small Indianapolis-based carrier that also focused partially on the Hawaii market, on Apr. 3; and Skybus, a low-cost airline based in Columbus, OH, on Apr. 5. On Apr. 11, Frontier Airlines, a discount carrier based in Denver, CO, filed for bankruptcy but pledged to maintain its full flight schedule. Two major U.S. airlines, Delta and Northwest, agreed Apr. 14 on a $3.1 bil merger deal that would establish the combined company as the world's largest airline. Fuel costs for the two carriers in the first quarter of 2008 had risen to more than $2.5 bil, around $1 bil over the first quarter of 2007.

     Supreme Court Approves Execution by Lethal Injection; Voter ID Law Also Upheld - In a 7-2 ruling, the Supreme Court held Apr. 16 that Kentucky's method of execution by lethal injection did not violate the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Writing for the majority in Baze v. Rees, Chief Justice John Roberts contended that the Constitution did not require an execution to be pain-free. "Simply because an execution method may result in pain, either by accident or as an inescapable consequence of death, does not establish the sort of 'objectively intolerable risk of harm' that qualifies as cruel and unusual," wrote the chief justice. In a concurring opinion, Justice John Paul Stevens declared his opposition to "state-sanctioned killing," but sided with the majority in respect to legal precedents. The Court ruling ended a de facto seven-month moratorium on execution by lethal injection, the primary method used by 35 of the 36 states that have the death penalty.
     By a 6-3 vote on Apr. 28, the Supreme Court upheld an Indiana statute requiring voters to present current photo identification - issued by either the state or federal government - before casting their ballots. Six states - Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Michigan, and South Dakota - have similar measures and similar legislation was pending in numerous other states. In his lead opinion in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, Justice Stevens wrote that "The application of the statute to the vast majority of Indiana voters is amply justified by the valid interest in protecting 'the integrity and reliability of the electoral process.'" Stevens was joined in the majority by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy, and, in a separate opinion, Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito. Justice David Souter's dissent noted that "Indiana's 'Voter ID Law' threatens to impose nontrivial burdens on the voting right of tens of thousands of the State's citizens... and a significant percentage of those individuals are likely to be deterred from voting."



Lurita Doan

     Leadership Changes at HUD, GSA - Pres. Bush Apr. 18 named Steven Preston to head the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, replacing HUD Sec. Alphonso Jackson, who left office that same day. Jackson, who had announced his resignation Mar. 31, was under investigation for alleged favoritism in the awarding of housing contracts. Preston had led the Small Business Administration since July 2006; his nomination as HUD secretary is subject to Senate confirmation.
     The Bush administration Apr. 29 requested the resignation of General Services Administration chief Lurita Doan, effective immediately. The U.S. Office of Special Counsel had sent a letter to Pres. Bush in June 2007 reporting that Doan, a Republican, had violated the federal Hatch Act by asking how the GSA could help "our candidates" during a Jan. 2007 briefing by a White House official. Doan had also been accused of steering a $20,000 no-bid contract to a friend who had formerly served as her public relations consultant. The GSA manages more than $50 bil in federal contracts awarded each year.

     Texas State Police Raid Polygamist Compound - Texas state police Apr. 3-7 removed more than 400 minors from the Yearning For Zion (YFZ) Ranch, a compound near Eldorado, TX owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS). The FLDS, founded as a polygamist splinter group in the 1930s, has an estimated 10,000 members based primarily in the Southwest. The FLDS is led by Warren Jeffs, who had been convicted Sept. 2007 in Utah as an accomplice to rape for having forced a 14-year-old girl to marry her 19-year-old cousin. Police were responding to two calls made to a family violence hotline; the caller, who identified herself as a 16-year-old girl at the YFZ Ranch, reported that she had been beaten repeatedly and sexually assaulted by a middle aged "spiritual husband."
     Although early reports indicated that 416 minors had been taken from the YFZ Ranch, figures released May 2 by the Child Protective Services (CPS) Division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services put the total number of minors removed from the ranch at 464, of whom 250 were females and 214 were males. According to the CPS, 31 of 53 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 were pregnant, already had children, or both. In an affidavit released Apr. 8, CPS investigator Lynn McFadden alleged that there was "a pervasive pattern and practice of indoctrinating and grooming minor female children to accept spiritual marriages to adult male members of the YFZ Ranch resulting in them being sexually abused." A court order issued Apr. 18 by Judge Barbara Walther authorized the state to begin taking DNA samples to determine the children's parentage, and to place the children temporarily in licensed foster care while the investigation continued.


White House photo by Eric Draper

President George W. Bush and Laura Bush applaud as Pope Benedict XVI acknowledges being sung happy birthday by the thousands of guests Wednesday, April 16, 2008, at his welcoming ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House.

     Pope Benedict XVI Makes 6-Day Visit to U.S. - On his first papal visit to the U.S., Apr. 15-20, Benedict XVI maintained a full schedule of public and private appearances in Washington, DC (where he celebrated his 81st birthday Apr. 16), and in New York City. In the nation's capital he met with Pres. Bush at the White House, conducted Mass at the new Nationals Park baseball stadium, addressed U.S. bishops, and delivered a speech at the Catholic University of America. In New York City he addressed the UN General Assembly on the subject of human rights, visited a synagogue just before the start of the Passover holiday, prayed for peace and paid homage to the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at Ground Zero, and conducted Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral and Yankee Stadium.
     A recurring theme in the pope's remarks was the scandal in which more than 5,000 Catholic priests had been accused of abusing some 12,000 children in the United States since 1950. The pope said he felt "deeply ashamed" of the pedophile priests and, while in Washington, met and prayed with a group of abuse victims. Cardinal William J. Lavada, a top Vatican official, said Apr. 18 that the Vatican was considering changes in the canon laws that govern the response to such cases.

     Clinton Wins Pennsylvania Primary, But Obama Retains Delegate Lead - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY) defeated Sen. Barack Obama (IL), 55%-45%, in Pennsylvania's Democratic presidential primary Apr. 22, in their continuing struggle to determine who would face Sen. John McCain (AZ), the presumptive Republican nominee, in the general election campaign. A Philadelphia debate between Clinton and Obama six days earlier had focused in large part on character issues, including Obama's relationship with his controversial former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and his comment Apr. 6 at a San Francisco fund-raising event that some small-town voters "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them" because they are "bitter" about continued job losses. Obama faced a new challenge when Wright made a series of public statements, Apr. 25-28, in which he defended his views and appeared to question Obama's sincerity in condemning them. In a press conference Apr. 29, the Illinois senator took pains to distance himself from Wright, calling his most recent statements "divisive and destructive" and denouncing them as "a bunch of rants that aren't grounded in truth."
     Despite his Pennsylvania loss, Obama maintained substantial leads over Clinton both in delegates won and in campaign fund-raising. At the beginning of April, Obama had $42 mil cash on hand, while Clinton had $9.3 mil. Clinton, who had earlier loaned her campaign $5 mil, invested another $5 mil in the campaign Apr. 11, with additional loans of $1 mil on May 1 and $425,000 on May 5. Her campaign also reported raising $10 million online following her Pennsylvania win.

     Job Losses, Price Increases Erode Consumer Confidence - Consumer confidence in April fell to a 26-year low according to data released Apr. 25 by the Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers. Underlying consumer unease was the Labor Dept. announcement Apr. 4 that the U.S. economy had shed 80,000 jobs during the previous month. Revised data estimated job losses at 76,000 in both January and February; declines in both months were greater than previously indicated. A lower-than-expected total of 20,000 jobs were lost in April, and the unemployment rate dipped from 5.1% to 5%, as an increase in the number of people working part-time jobs compensated for the drop in full-time employment.
     Propelled by rising costs for fuel and food, the producer price index surged 1.1% in March, according to data released Apr. 15 by the Labor Dept. As the cost for a barrel of crude oil rose toward $120 a barrel, the average retail price for a gallon of regular gasoline climbed from $3.29 on Mar. 31 to $3.60 on Apr. 28. On Apr. 30 the Federal Reserve lowered the federal funds rate by a quarter point to 2% - the Fed's seventh interest rate cut since Sept. 2007. In its accompanying statement, the Fed signaled a probable pause in further cuts because of the uncertain outlook on inflation. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Apr. 30 at 12,820.13, a 4.5% gain for the month and the first monthly increase since Oct. 2007.



Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Lock (USAF)

President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe

     Mugabe Clings to Power in Zimbabwe Election Dispute - While government and opposition leaders wrangled over the results of Zimbabwe's Mar. 29 presidential and parliamentary elections, pro-government forces carried out attacks against members and supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Parliamentary election results announced Apr. 2-3 by Zimbabwe's Electoral Commission indicated that ZANU-PF, the party headed by Pres. Robert Mugabe, had lost control of parliament to an alliance headed by MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai. The commission waited a month, however, before reporting May 2 that Tsvangirai had won 47.9 percent of the presidential vote to Mugabe's 43.2 percent. The official margin of Tsvangirai's victory fell short of the 50 percent majority needed to avoid a runoff vote; the MDC claimed he had won the election outright with 50.3 percent according to their own tally. Opposition leaders said that between the end of March and the beginning of May, 20 MDC supporters had been killed, hundreds brutally beaten, and tens of thousands driven from their homes. Tsvangirai had left the country Apr. 7, saying he feared for his safety.
     Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, when the African nation became independent. The elections took place while the economy was in a state of collapse, with food and fuel shortages, an unemployment rate of about 80 percent, and hyperinflation of more than 100,000 percent annually.

     NATO Leaders Endorse Missile-Defense Plan, Extend Membership to Albania and Croatia - At an Apr. 2-4 summit conference of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), held in Bucharest, Romania, the 26 members of the alliance unanimously approved a U.S.-backed missile-defense program. The plan, opposed by Russia, required placement of a radar station in the Czech Republic and a missile interceptor base in Poland, both members of NATO. The U.S. had reached a yet-unsigned accord regarding the station with the Czech Republic, but had yet to finalize a deal with Poland. The U.S. said the system was needed to counter a missile threat from Iran, but Russia viewed the plan as contrary to its own security interests.
     NATO leaders also approved membership action plans (MAPs) for Albania and Croatia, which are expected to become full NATO members in 2009. Greece, which has an ongoing dispute with Macedonia, vetoed a proposal to invite that country to join the alliance. NATO member countries also declined to approve MAPs for Georgia and Ukraine, in a nod to Russian objections. Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin met with NATO leaders in Bucharest Apr. 4 to discuss Russia's security concerns; it was Putin's first appearance at a NATO conference. Pres. Bush, who strongly favored membership for the former Soviet republics, had visited Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, Apr 1. After the conference he made a stopover in Croatia before traveling to the Russia Black Sea resort town of Sochi for talks with Pres. Putin.

     Cabinet Minister Killed in Sri Lanka Suicide Bombing - Highway Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, former Olympic marathoner K.A. Karunaratne, and at least 12 others were killed Apr. 6 in a suicide bombing that government officials blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels. About 100 others were wounded in the blast, which occurred in the town of Weliveriya, about 19 miles outside the national capital, Colombo, as a marathon race was about to begin. Rebels were also blamed for the deaths of at least 26 people near Colombo when a bomb hidden in the baggage rack of a crowded bus detonated during the evening rush hour on Apr. 25. Meanwhile, fighting raged in the far northern region, where at least 100 government troops were reportedly killed in fierce combat Apr. 23.

     Developing World Hit Hard by Rising Food Prices - Soaring prices for grains and other staple foods caused political instability is several nations and hardship in many others. Angered by the high price of food and stagnating salaries, protesters In Egypt staged a general strike Apr. 6; having already boosted food-subsidy programs, Pres. Hosni Mubarak on Apr. 30 announced a 30 percent salary increase for public-sector employees. After price hikes for essential items such as rice and beans sparked a week of riots in impoverished Haiti, Prime Min. Jacques-Édouard Alexis was ousted by lawmakers Apr. 12; 15 days later, Ericq Pierre, an international banking official, was named to replace him. Discontent also rose in many Asian nations as the price of rice surged from about $400 to more than $1,000 a ton on international markets.
     On Apr. 9 the World Bank reported that worldwide food prices had risen 83 percent over the three-year period preceding Feb. 2008. Two days later, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization forecast that food import costs in the world's poorest countries, which had already gone up 37 percent during 2006-07, would rise another 56 percent during 2007-08. Analysts attributed the food price jump to multiple factors, including increased demand from China, India, and other fast-growing countries; subpar grain harvests caused by drought and bad weather; the rising cost of the energy needed to grow and transport food; speculation on commodities markets; and increased use of cropland for ethanol and other biofuels.

     U.S. Plans to Suspend Troop Withdrawals from Iraq, as Casualties Rise; Leadership Changes Proposed - In testimony to the U.S. Congress Apr. 8-9, Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top American commander in Iraq, described progress there as both "significant and uneven" and "fragile and reversible." Petraeus recommended that after the current drawdown had returned troop presence to near pre-surge levels - from about 159,000 to around 140,000 - the U.S. suspend withdrawals for at least 45 days. Pres. Bush announced Apr. 10 that he had accepted Petraeus's recommendation. On Apr. 23 the Bush administration announced that Petraeus would be promoted to head Central Command, overseeing military affairs in the Middle East and Central Asia, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno would replace Petraeus in Iraq.
     In ground operations, the Iraqi police, aided by U.S. troops, continued to battle Shiite fighters in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood. U.S. military casualties in April numbered 52, the highest monthly total since Sept. 2007. According to an Associated Press tally May 2, war-related Iraqi deaths totaled 1,080 in April.

     Maoists Make Strong Showing in Nepal Elections - Less than two years after ending their armed insurgency, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) emerged as the strongest bloc in Apr. 10 elections, winning 120 of 240 directly elected seats in the 601-member constituent assembly. The assembly was expected to write a new constitution that would abolish Nepal's monarchy, which had already been stripped of most of its powers. A civil war between government forces and Maoist rebels had claimed thousands of lives during 1996-2006.



Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi

     Berlusconi Returns to Power in Italy - Silvio Berlusconi, a conservative media magnate, swept back into power in elections Apr. 13-14 in Italy, as his center-right coalition won control of both houses of parliament. He succeeded Prime Min. Romano Prodi, whose center-left coalition had collapsed Jan. 24. Berlusconi, a 71-year-old billionaire, had served previous terms as prime minister during 1994-95 and 2001-06, when he was a key ally of Pres. Bush and an outspoken supporter of U.S.-led military efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Italy's new government, dominated by members of Berlusconi's People of Freedom Party and the anti-immigrant Northern League, was formed May 7 and sworn in the following day.

     Lugo Wins Presidential Election in Paraguay - A former Roman Catholic bishop, Fernando Lugo, candidate of the Patriotic Alliance for Change, won Paraguay's presidential election Apr. 20 with about 41 percent of the vote. The second-place finisher with about 31 percent was Blanca Ovelar de Duarte, candidate of the Colorado Party, which has governed Paraguay for more than six decades. Former Gen. Lino Oviedo finished third with 22 percent. Long known as the "bishop of the poor," the 56-year-old Lugo resigned the priesthood in 2006 in order to run for public office. During the campaign, he pledged to expand land reform and social programs, crack down on corruption, and increase Paraguay's share of revenue from the Itaipu hydroelectric power project jointly operated with Brazil. Lugo is scheduled to begin his five-year presidential term Aug. 15.

     Karzai Escapes Assassination in Afghanistan - Afghan Pres. Hamid Karzai escaped unhurt from an apparent assassination attempt Apr. 27 that left three people dead and 11 wounded at a military parade in central Kabul. The Taliban claimed responsibility, but Afghan intelligence later linked Al Qaeda to the attack. A militant known as Homayoun, who was accused of aiding the attack and of planning a Jan. 14 bombing that had killed seven people at a luxury hotel in Kabul, was killed during a raid on a militant hideout in the capital Apr. 30.
     French Pres. Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed Apr. 3 that France would contribute at least 700 additional troops to Afghanistan. Lt. Dennis van Uhm, the 23-year-old son of the newly installed Dutch military commander, Gen. Peter van Uhm, was killed by a roadside bomb in south-central Afghanistan Apr. 18. In a video broadcast in Pakistan Apr. 19, Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan, Tariq Azizuddin, who had been missing since Feb. 11, said he was being held captive by the Taliban. Gen. Dan K. McNeill, the U.S. commander of the NATO-led force in Afghanistan, said Apr. 20 that Afghan military and police should be able to secure most of the country by 2011.

     Reports of Captive Family, Incest Stun Austria - Police in Amstetten, Austria, announced the arrest Apr. 27 of 73-year-old Josef Fritzl, who confessed the next day to holding his daughter captive in his cellar for 24 years, since she was 18. DNA tests confirmed Apr. 29 that Fritzl had fathered his daughter's seven children, one of whom had died in infancy. The reports shocked the nation, coming less than two years after the Aug. 2006 escape of Natascha Kampusch, who had been kidnapped at the age of 10 and held captive for 8 years in Strasshof, Austria.


     Kansas Wins Men's NCAA Basketball Championship; Tennessee Captures Women's Crown - The University of Kansas men's basketball team won the NCAA title game Apr. 7, defeating the University of Memphis in overtime, 75-68, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX. Down by nine points with 2 minutes, 12 seconds left in the second half, the Jayhawks capitalized on the Tigers' poor free-throw shooting to force a 63-63 tie and then dominated the overtime period. The win was the Jayhawks' third NCAA basketball championship. Kansas guard Mario Chalmers, who had hit a three-point shot with 2.1 seconds left in regulation time, was named the most outstanding player of the men's Final Four. For the first time in NCAA Division I tournament history, all four of the top-seeded teams had made it to the Final Four.
     In women's basketball, the Lady Vols of the University of Tennessee captured their second consecutive NCAA championship Apr. 8 by crushing Stanford, 64-48, at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, FL. Vols star Candace Parker, who scored a game-high 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds, was named the most outstanding player of the women's Final Four for the second year in a row. Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, who won her eighth national championship, also notched her 983rd career victory, the most ever by a college coach, male or female.

     Immelman Takes Masters Golf Tournament Trevor Immelman of South Africa won the Masters Apr. 13 at the Augusta (GA) National Golf Club, shooting an 8-under-par 280 to beat Tiger Woods by three strokes. The 28-year-old Immelman worked through swirling winds to finish with a three-over-par 75 on the final 18 holes, the highest final-round score by a tournament winner since 1962. He was the first South African to win the tournament since Gary Player's third Masters victory in 1978.

     Soyuz Spacecraft Malfunctions on Reentry - A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying three astronauts back to Earth from the International Space Station (ISS) made an unconventional landing Apr. 19, about 295 miles short of its target in Kazakhstan. The crew was subjected to a steeper-than-normal descent and to G forces more than eight times those of earth's gravity. (Gravitational forces typically do not exceed 4.5 Gs during a Soyuz descent or 3 Gs when the U.S. space shuttle makes its reentry.) The astronauts - Dr. Peggy A. Whitson of the U.S., Yi So-yeon of South Korea, and Col. Yuri I. Malenchenko of Russia, the capsule commander - reportedly emerged unharmed after the spacecraft landed. The cause of the problematic landing was unclear, but the most likely theory was that the descent module of the Soyuz TMA-11 failed to separate from the propulsion module at the right time. The previous Soyuz mission, TMA-10, had experienced a similar descent problem in Oct. 2007. Transport to and from the ISS will need to rely on the Soyuz system for at least five years between the anticipated retirement of the U.S. shuttle program in 2010 and the activation of the replacement Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle in 2015.

     Danica Patrick Wins Indy Japan 300 Auto Race - Danica Patrick won the Indy Japan 300 Apr. 20, becoming the first woman ever to win an IndyCar race. The 26-year-old Patrick, who averaged 164.258 mph over 200 laps at Twin Ring Motegi speedway, surged into the lead in the 198th lap to defeat the Brazilian-born pole-sitter Hélio Castroneves by 5.8594 seconds. The Indy Japan 300 was the 50th IndyCar event for Patrick, who had ranked among the world's most popular race car drivers since finishing fourth in the Indianapolis 500 during her rookie season in 2005.

It's a Fact!

Former U.S. presidents and their spouses enjoy lifelong mail "franking" privileges, meaning that mail bearing their signature can be sent without postage, provided that it is non-political.

It's All in the Numbers


U.S. Mint

U.S. Penny

150,000,000,000 - approximate number of U.S. pennies in circulation.

20,000,000,000 $ cost of the Manhattan Project, through August 1945.

250,000,000 - $ estimated value of David Beckham's five-year contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy signed in 2007.

80,000,000 - $ price paid for Jasper John's "False Start" (1959), the most for a painting by a living artist, by a hedge fund manager in 2007.

182,000 - number of Peace Corps volunteers invited to 138 countries since its inception in 1961.

15,140 - $ amount of fake money in the bank of the standard Monopoly® game set.

3,300 - approximate number of people buried at Westminster Abbey, many of them unmarked; Charles Darwin was among famous scientists buried in the nave.

108 - number of Virginia Company members who set out from London to found Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in what would become the U.S.

38 - number of women nurses Florence Nightingale organized to serve in the Crimean War.

8 - number of U.S. presidents that have died in office; of these, four were assassinated.

Offbeat News Stories — Sarah Janssen

Notes From the Underground

Most people would not consider their rote commutes to and from work at all worth documenting. But "Annie Mole" (a pseudonym) writes about hers nearly every day on her popular blog, London Underground Tube Diary. Her blog, which documents her life on 'the Tube,' attracts visitors from around the world and has been nominated the best British blog three times in the last four years.

Much of the blog's appeal comes from observations of the different types of people Mole sees on her 80-minute daily commute. "There are people who are incredibly self-conscious on the Tube...then there are other people who are like: ‘Brilliant, here's an extension of my office, here's an extension of my bedroom. I'm gonna be on my phone, I'm gonna be doing my makeup." A recent posting compared a photo of two people engrossed in a card game with others hiding behind their newspapers.

Mole began writing anonymously because she was concerned about the public response, fearing that Underground officials would force her to take down the site. Eventually, her writing did catch the attention of the Tube bureaucracy, but they didn't respond the way Mole had feared. A number of the companies that maintain the Underground have sought Mole out as a way to address rumors and commuters' complaints. "They think what I'm doing is positive...they say it's a way for the public to see what actually goes on behind these lines."

Sumo Rules

Presumably, sumo wrestlers get a lot of attention when they're out in public - they don't exactly blend into the crowd no matter where they go. Now, they'll have to watch their behavior all the more: sumo traditionalists are considering a new set of rules to govern wrestlers' behavior outside of the ring.

Concern over sumo wrestlers' extracurricular activities spiked with a scandal over a star wrestler caught on television playing soccer, even though he was supposed to be injured. A former sumo gym chief also raised eyebrows when he was arrested for assaulting another wrestler.

The proposed handbook, meant to restore discipline and honor to the sport, will be fully illustrated to assist wrestlers who speak other languages. Rules include a ban on sweatshirts and T-shirts, as well as proper behavior for (limited) nightclub visits. "When I came into sumo, we didn't have sweatshirts," said Japan Sumo Association official Isenoumi on the proposed guide. "Clothes are different now so it is hard for young wrestlers to judge."

It's a Fact!

Charles Lindbergh named his plane The Spirit of St. Louis because the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce was his sponsor.

Links of the Month — Edward A. Thomas, Editor in Chief


Library of Congress

Titanic composite photograph includes the ship, life boats bringing survivors to the Carpathia, Capt. Smith, and a wireless operator.

One subject that has been a source of fascination to me since I was a boy is the White Star Liner Titanic, the ship that sank on its maiden voyage in 1912, and has never been out of the news. The largest ocean liner at the time it was built - at 883 feet long and 93 feet wide - it had a gymnasium, swimming pool, and squash court, and held over 2,200 passengers and crew members (but sadly, lifeboats for only 1,178). After striking an iceberg at 11:35 pm on the night of April 14, it sank two hours and forty minutes later, taking over 1,500 people to their watery grave. Notables of the day who perished on the ship included John Jacob Astor IV, Isidor and Ida Straus, Benjamin Guggenheim, and presidential military aide Archibald Butt. It also made a new celebrity - the "Unsinkable Molly Brown." There were over700 survivors, and only one survives today: Millvina Dean, who was 9 weeks old when the ship sank. You can view the immigration documents for the survivors at the U.S. Archives. There have been numerous books written about the Titanic including the fictional account Raise the Titanic by Clive Cussler, who is an underwater explorer, and the founder of The National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA). NUMA has discovered many sunken ships, including the CSS Hunley, the first submarine to ever sink an enemy ship (1864).

My cousin Karen sent me this video of a crumbling walkway, built in 1901, to El Makinodromo in Andalusia, Spain, the rock climbing adventure of a lifetime.


Edward A. Thomas/Route 66-Timothy N. Bryk

Paris Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas; Windmills in Palm Springs; Palm Springs Tram; Joshua Tree National Park; Route 66

A week ago, 15 friends and family members flew to Las Vegas to watch my sister and brother-in-law renew their vows on their 25th wedding anniversary. It had been three years since I'd been on the strip, and Las Vegas is a continually changing city. Check out this Vegas Hotel Timeline to see the life spans of a number of the hotels, and some of their "implosion" dates. A few days later we headed to Palm Springs, a desert community about 100 miles east of Los Angeles. Approaching Palm Springs, the first sights that come into view along the highway are a great many windmills. The San Gorgonio Pass is home to 3,500 electricity-producing wind turbines, which produce 600 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) every year. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is a worthwhile thing to do when visiting the area. The rotating tram takes you to Mount San Jacinto State Park in which you can hike and camp. The view from the top includes Palm Springs below and the Coachella Valley. That weekend happened to be the The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, an alternative rock show that headlined Prince this year. On our trip back towards Las Vegas, we visited the very beautiful Joshua Tree National Park, in which many wildflowers were in bloom. I don't think I can recommend the natural beauty of the national parks in the U.S. enough as places to visit. Last but not least, the road back to Vegas included a drive along the famed Route 66.

If you are going on a vacation and want to know what the local events are going to be in that location, check out What's On When.



Amelia Earhart

A beautiful compilation of female actresses that morph from one to another begins with Mary Pickford and ends with Halle Berry. Can you name all of them in between? (see list at bottom of this column).

I've missed many of the presidential debates live, but have seen clips on YouTube, and well I'll admit it, it's a great website which is a diverse source of video and audio clips. I'm just going to suggest some that interest me, and keep in mind, I have odd tastes. I'm a great admirer of the golden age of Hollywood, and some of these clips represent a slightly twisted view. Did you ever hear Bette Davis sing Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, or do you prefer her singing in the movie of the same name? Or just check out a dramatic scene between Baby Jane Hudson (Bette Davis) and Blanche Hudson (Joan Crawford). Check out a rare interview with Mae West with Dick Cavett, and hear her singing "Frankie and Johnny." You can see Florence Lawrence, the first actor to receive billing in films and some of MGM's great stars showing up at the premiere of "Grand Hotel" in 1932. On historic notes, see Annie Oakley shooting a rifle in 1894, rare color footage of President Roosevelt's funeral in 1945, Amelia Earhart talking about aviation, and the Challenger disaster. There is something for everyone - for some humor, watch a cop dancing, or check out Lizard Man, or the most viewed (84 million+) YouTube video: Evolution of Dance.

With gas prices increasing daily, it seemed like a good thing to include the link for Gas Price Watch, so you can find the best gas prices in your neighborhood without driving around and using even more gas!

Women in film: Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, Gloria Swanson, Marlene Dietrich, Norma Shearer, Ruth Chatterton, Jean Harlow, Katharine Hepburn, Carole Lombard, Bette Davis, Greta Garbo, Barbara Stanwyck, Vivien Leigh, Greer Garson, Hedy Lamarr, Rita Hayworth, Gene Tierney, Olivia de Havilland, Ingrid Bergman, Joan Crawford, Ginger Rogers, Loretta Young, Deborah Kerr, Judy Garland, Anne Baxter, Lauren Bacall, Susan Hayward, Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor, Kim Novak, Audrey Hepburn, Dorothy Dandridge, Shirley MacLaine, Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, Janet Leigh, Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren, Ann Margret, Julie Andrews, Raquel Welch, Tuesday Weld, Jane Fonda, Julie Christie, Faye Dunaway, Catherine Deneuve, Jacqueline Bisset, Candice Bergen, Isabella Rossellini, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon, Jessica Lange, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sigourney Weaver, Kathleen Turner, Holly Hunter, Jodie Foster, Angela Bassett, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone, Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Salma Hayek, Sandra Bullock, Julianne Moore, Diane Lane, Nicole Kidman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon, Halle Berry.

Quote of the Month

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
     - Nelson Mandela , (1918- ), anti-apartheid activist and former president of South Africa

© World Almanac Education Group

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

Newsletter Contributors:
Geoffrey M. Horn, Sarah Janssen, C. Alan Joyce, Bill McGeveran and Andy Steinitz.

Comments and suggestions can be sent to: editorinchief@waegroup.com

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