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Dot-com stocks continued their long slide into the dustbin of history.A large man with a bushy beard ran amok and shot dead seven co-workers at an Internet consulting company near Boston.A hacker named “prime suspectz” cracked the Nasdaq’s web server and left an offensive message; he also mentioned how easy it was to penetrate a Microsoft server.There were bombings in Pakistan and Indonesia and Israel.President Andrés Pastrana of Colombia was considering setting up an autonomous zone for the National Liberation Army, Colombia’s second-largest rebel group, that would be roughly the same size as the zone controlled by Colombia’s largest rebel army, which is roughly the size of Switzerland.The Twentieth Century finally came to an end.Pope John Paul II warned that a “culture of death” was threatening the future.Binyamin Kahane, son of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, who advocated extermination as a final solution to the Palestinian problem, was killed in an ambush in the West Bank. “They have to know and fear that for every hair on a Jew that is harmed, an Arab head may roll,” Kahane’s friend Tiran Pollack told a radio station. “If they understand and feel this, I’m sure we’ll have quiet, because an Arab is like his donkey. Both understand only force.”A mob ran through Jerusalem chanting “Death to the Arabs!” and beating any Palestinians they happened upon.Israeli soldiers assassinated Dr. Thabet Thabet, a senior Palestinian health official, near his home in the West Bank: Last week, an Israeli general admitted on the radio that the extra-judicial killing of suspected terrorists was an official policy of the Israeli government.Sniping, he said, was the preferred method.
Bulgaria honored Georgy Markov, the dissident writer whom Bulgarian spies assassinated in 1972 by stabbing him, in London, with a poisoned umbrella.President Clinton signed the 1998 Rome Treaty on the International Criminal Court over the objections of the Pentagon and many Republicans, who on this subject do perhaps protest too much.Israel immediately said it would sign the treaty.George W. Bush went fishing.A big snowstorm hit the American South: “It’s really the equivalent of having a nuclear device go off,” mused the governor of Arkansas, “without the mushroom cloud or radioactivity.” Police officers were shooting ice off limbs near power lines with shotguns.There were wildfires in Florida and California and on the Alaskan tundra.Vandals broke into the Civil Rights Museum in Selma, Alabama, and ripped up about 30 photographs of state troopers beating marchers on Bloody Sunday in 1965; a Ku Klux Klan hood was stolen from the museum two weeks ago.Thailand’s chief anticorruption official, the leader of the Thai Love Thai party, was forced to resign after he was found to be corrupt.A Mexican court annulled a state election because of evidence of widespread fraud.President Vicente Fox Quesada ordered a military base closed in Chiapas after 700 Indians marched on the base and demanded that he do so.An unofficial recount of Florida’s ballots was being undertaken by journalists under the state’s freedom of information act; Gore was ahead by 140 votes, and a statistical projection showed him winning Florida by 23,000 votes.Spokesmen for the Republican cabal denounced the recount as an attempt to “rewrite history”; Christine Todd Whitman suggested sealing the ballots for ten years.
Two stolen koala bears were recovered from a dung-filled San Francisco home; the koalas were stolen by two Vietnamese Buddhistteenagers who broke into the San Francisco zoo through a skylight and tried to give the bears to their girlfriends, who rejected the gifts.Experts theorized that poor people were fat because they spend too much time in front of the televisioneating Big Macs and such.Fishermen in the Galápagos Islands were resisting new fishing limits, arguing for a strict policy of natural selection in Ecuador’s conservation policies.Russian women were not getting married and having children because too many Russian men were not earning enough money; the New York Times considered this to be yet another example of “freedom’s toll.” A woman succeeded in introducing DNA evidence of infidelity into a divorce proceeding, a first.Abortion clinics in Detroit were competing for customers.Astronomers found evidence that many black holes are younger than previously thought, and still growing.The League of Women Voters said that it was closing its New York office because of financial difficulties.The Seventh World Zoroastrian Congress was held in Houston.A maker of “crush films” was sentenced in New York to 280 hours of community service for depicting women in spike heels speaking in seductive tones while stepping on guinea pigs.A new Britishstudy found that women were more likely to mate with men who show off and take risks.The Bigfoot Field ResearchersOrganization found a large imprint of Bigfoot’s buttocks in southern Washington.
More from Roger D. Hodge:
Chances that a deep breath inhaled today will contain a molecule from Julius Caesar’s dying breath:
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences, by John Allen Paulos, Hill and Wang (N.Y.C.)
The earth once had three moons; the two lost moons may have crashed into the surviving moon, or been sucked into the sun, or flung out of the solar system to drift through deep space.
In Florida, an 87-year-old World War II veteran flying touch-and-go drills in a Cessna collided with an airborne skydiver. âThere was a âwoofâ sound,â said a witness, âlike falling on your face into your pillow.â
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âAmerican politics has often been an arena for angry minds.â