- Killer solar flares are on the way. I wouldn't have guessed it, but Space Weather forecasts are available. In case of the worst, disasterrelief.org has helpful hints on solar storms. They also have a handy map of all of the day's disasters. (3.31.2001)
- While the rest of Britain is worried about tourism and foot and mouth disease, one Briton decided to row solo across the Pacific. His daughters thoughtfully pulled him ashore. (3.30.2001)
- The Illinois Tollway is about to get more expensive, but the CEO of the Chicago Tribune won't have any trouble paying for it with his $3 million bonus. Smart move to raise tollway prices just as Boeing is thinking of moving in. It would be, according to one article, the Super Bowl of economic development. (3.28.2001)
- My fellow students at the University of Northern Iowa and I spend much of our time complaining about the ridiculous wind speeds that blow through campus almost every day. Urban legend here even has it that we're one windiest campuses in America, second only to the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. While there is no such list on the web (look for yourself), we're probably not even close. Our average wind speed is somewhere around eleven miles an hour, though it gets a lot faster when a tornado drops by, like the one that hit on the first day of classes in August 1998. Today's wind speed might be up, and it might be down. But the maps show that it's, on average, windier anywhere in North Dakota, among other places. Much research has been done on the subject, and there's a good chance that we could use it better. It's already underway to our west here in Iowa. (3.24.2001)
- On February 18, 2001, while racing for fame and fortune, Dale Earnhardt died in the last lap of the Daytona 500. It was surely a tragedy for his family, friends and fans. He was 49 years old with grown children, one of whom was in the race. He was a winner and earned everything he had. This included (reportedly) more than "$41 million in winnings and ten times that from endorsements and souvenir sales." He had a beautiful home and a private jet. He drove the most sophisticated cars allowed and every part was inspected and replaced as soon as there was any evidence of wear. This is normally fully funded by the car and team sponsors. Today, there is no TV station that does not constantly remind us of his tragic end and the radio already has a song of tribute to this winning driver. Nothing should be taken away from this man, a professional and the best in his chosen way of life. He was in a very dangerous business but the rewards were great.
On February 14, 2001, six soldiers died in a training accident when two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters collided during night maneuvers in Hawaii. They were two Chief Warrant Officers, a Major, a Sergeant, and two specialists -- none had licensing fees or corporate sponsors. They flew aboard an aircraft that was probably 15 to 20 years old. They were involved in the extremely dangerous business of flying in the Kuhuku mountains at night. It only gets worse when the weather moves in as it did that night. No one was there with a yellow flag to slow things down. They died training to defend our freedom.
Ask any of your friends if they know who was the NASCAR driver killed on February 18, 2001. Then ask them if they can name one of the six soldiers who died in Hawaii.
Dale Earnhardt died driving for fame and glory at the Daytona 500. The nation mourns.
Six soldiers died training to protect our freedom. No one can remember their names and most don't even remember the incident.
The victims were identified as Maj. Robert L. Olson of Minnesota; Chief Warrant Officer George P. Perry and Chief Warrant Officer Gregory I. Montgomery, both of California; Sgt. Thomas E. Barber of Champlin, Minn.; Specialist Bob D. MacDonald of Alta Loma, Calif.; and Specialist Rafael Olvera-Rodriguez of El Paso, Texas.
- Other interesting stories:
TV execs whimper
Radio consolidation continues
Green energy hot
Fight for a new Chicago airport
Watch your airfares rise
Des Moines: We Go to Bed Early
Fear this: "Those doing nothing wrong have nothing to worry about"
Photo of the Sun
Park Place Entertainment, Hilton Hotels
Getting good PR