Friday, December 31, 2004
19/12/2004 9:27:04 PM (from msn.ca)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Bush's bold, uncompromising leadership and his clear-cut election victory made him Time magazine's "Person of the Year" for 2004, its managing editor said Sunday. Clear cut... right...
Time chose Bush "for sticking to his guns (literally and figuratively), for reshaping the rules of politics to fit his 10-gallon-hat leadership style and for persuading a majority of voters this time around that he deserved to be in the White House for another four years," Jim Kelly wrote in the magazine.
Bush was also Time's choice to appear on the cover in 2000 after winning the presidential election despite losing the popular vote.
His father, President George H. W. Bush, was named "Man of the Year" in 1990 for what Time called his mastery of foreign policy and his wavering domestic record.
Last year the magazine picked "The American Soldier."
"Obviously many supporters of the president will be pleased, many people who do not support the president will probably sigh," Kelly said.
"But even those who may not have voted for him will acknowledge that this is one of the more influential presidents of the last 50 years."
Kelly said he and his staff debated giving the award to others including Karl Rove, the president's influential political adviser, and filmmakers Michael Moore and Mel Gibson.
The winner must be "the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or for ill, and embodied what was important about the year, for better or for worse," he said.
U.S. aviator Charles Lindbergh was Time's first "Man of the Year" in 1927. Some selections have been notoriously unpopular, such as Adolf Hitler in 1938, Josef Stalin in 1939 and 1942, and Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979.
This year the magazine named the conservative "Power Line" as its first "Blog of the Year." Kelly said blogs, web sites that often mix news, gossip and opinion, are "here to stay." Reuters/VNU
Here to stay, eh? Time will tell - and surely confirm that too!
The Luminous Blog sure is... that much we can agree on! ;)
Red Sox victory voted top sports story in AP poll
By JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports Writer
December 30, 2004
There was no Commissioner's Trophy the last time the Boston Red Sox won the World Series.
No commissioner, in fact.
So when the Red Sox won it all for the first time since 1918, they didn't think it would be right to stick their trophy on a shelf somewhere to gather dust.
Instead, they took it to every state in New England, to a fan hangout in California and the team's academy in the Dominican Republic, to Christmas tree lightings and churches and nursing homes, where octogenarians have waited all their lives to see their favorite team win just once.
At the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where they treat sick children thanks in part to the Red Sox and the Jimmy Fund, the trophy caused such a hubbub when pitcher Tim Wakefield brought it by last week that order, finally, had to be restored.
``I just want to get some kids up here!'' activities coordinator Lisa Scherber shouted as the patients, too young to understand, watched their parents pose for pictures with the prize. ``We've got a lot of adults.''
The World Series trophy has been a much-welcomed and well-traveled guest this offseason. And how it got to be that way is the sports story of the year, according to a vote by the newspaper and broadcast members of The Associated Press.
Boston's first World Series title since 1918 and the unprecedented comeback against the Yankees that made it possible was a runaway winner with 108 first-place votes and 1,325 points.
Lance Armstrong's sixth straight Tour de France title (seven first-place votes, 785 points) finished second and the Indiana Pacers-Detroit Pistons brawl was third (six first-place votes, 662 points).
The New England Patriots' Super Bowl victory and 21-game winning streak was next (zero first-place votes, 498 points), followed by sports' steroid stories (eight first-place votes, 495 points).
Merely winning the Series after an 86-year drought probably would have been enough to make the Red Sox the year's top story. But the way they did it was one for the ages.
After falling five outs short of the World Series last year and firing their manager because of it, the Red Sox acquired Curt Schilling, the top starting pitcher on the market, and Keith Foulke, the top reliever.
Their pursuit of Alex Rodriguez -- a deal that would have involved unloading Nomar Garciaparra and Manny Ramirez -- ended late in 2003. But before spring training got started the reigning AL MVP went to the hated Yankees -- thanks in part to the groundwork the Red Sox had done.
It seemed as if Boston would be New York's runner-up once again.
The Red Sox played .500 ball for most of the year, prompting general manager Theo Epstein to trade Garciaparra for shortstop Orlando Cabrera and spare parts Dave Roberts and Doug Mientkiewicz.
But the regular season was, as expected, merely the undercard for a Red Sox-Yankees playoff rematch; for the seventh consecutive year, Boston finished second to New York in the AL East.
The only indication that things might be different this year was that the Red Sox won 11 of 19 meetings between the teams during the regular season -- Boston's first edge in the season series since 1999.
Boston swept Anaheim in the first round, with designated hitter David Ortiz -- ``Papi'' -- hitting a clinching homer in the 10th inning of Game 3. But the Red Sox just as quickly fell behind the Yankees 3-0 in the AL championship series.
No major league team had rallied from a 3-0 deficit to even tie a seven-game series, let alone win it. But the Red Sox, self-proclaimed ``idiots,'' insisted they were too stupid to be intimidated by the gravity of their predicament.
Things got more dire when the Yankees took a 4-3 lead into the ninth inning of the fourth game, with star closer Mariano Rivera on the mound. But he walked Kevin Millar and Roberts, pinch running, stole second before Bill Mueller singled to tie it.
Boston won in the 12th on Ortiz's homer, then won Game 5 less than 24 hours later on his 14th-inning single. The series moved back to Yankee Stadium, where 2003 had ended so disastrously.
The Red Sox sent Schilling to the mound only after season-ending surgery was postponed in favor of a radical and unprecedented procedure to keep him in the rotation. After testing the technique on a cadaver, Dr. Bill Morgan stitched a loose tendon in Schilling's right ankle in place so it wouldn't flop around when he pitched.
With blood soaking through his sock, Schilling beat the Yankees and forced a decisive seventh game. But the only pitcher the Red Sox had left was Derek Lowe, who pitched so poorly in the regular season that he was bumped from the playoff rotation.
Lowe pitched six innings of one-hit ball, Ortiz homered and Johnny Damon hit a grand slam to help Boston open a 10-3 lead -- too big even for the Red Sox to blow.
They were going to the World Series.
Their NL opponent was a familiar one: The St. Louis Cardinals had beaten Boston in the 1946 Series and again in '67, both times in seven games. Red Sox fans wondered whether the Series would be a letdown after the emotional victory over the Yankees, and they were right.
The Cardinals failed to put up a fight this time and the Red Sox would soon be celebrating a sweep in Busch Stadium. Millions turned out for the victory parade as it drove through Boston and into the Charles River on amphibious vehicles.
Those who couldn't see the trophy at the ``rolling rally'' might still get their chance. The Red Sox promise to bring it to every one of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts that asks.
If it makes it that long: Already, two of the flags on the trophy have come loose and need to be fixed. But the Red Sox can't bring themselves to take it out of commission that long.
``Just about everywhere I go, people get very emotional. These people have been waiting a lot longer than I have,'' said Bill Mullaly, a 30-year-old Red Sox security guard who escorts the trophy on many of its visits.
``It's had a huge impact on people. It's made them feel good.''
Updated on Thursday, Dec 30, 2004 2:28 am EST
Taken straight from the day's headlines...
Asian tsunami toll nears 125,000 confirmed dead
At least 5,000 Europeans missing after tsunami
Dick Clark to spend New Year's in hospital
World cities enjoy some New Year's Day zaniness (STILL)
Millions in Asia celebrate New Year's (ANYWAY...)
Yep... the end is near... cold cruel world!
By Robin Ray/ Kid Tech
Sunday, January 16, 2005
According to a recent survey by the Pew Memorial Trust, more Americans than ever are creating (7 percent) and reading (27 percent) blogs. The same survey shows that a large chunk of Internet users (62 percent) don't know what a blog is.
``Blog'' is short for ``Web-log,'' and it is essentially a diary published on the Internet. Absolutely anyone with an Internet connection can participate as either reader or writer, including kids. You can start your own blog, using any number of ``free'' (with advertising) hosting sites (see www.blogger.com, for example). Or you can troll around other people's blogs, reading their unedited commentary - interesting or otherwise - on every topic from world politics to what they had for lunch.
Many Web authorities trumpet the benefits of blogs, especially for kids. They say creating a blog motivates kids to learn about technology, as we see from a BBC story on a British school's blogging club (news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/3804773.stm). Barbara Feldman, in her ``Surfing the Net with Kids'' page on Blogging Tools (surfnetkids.com/blogging.htm), enthuses, ``What better way to encourage writing than with an online journal.''
Educators see huge potential in blogs. Kids' typing skills improve. They learn to think about their lives and put their experiences into words. Blogging offers kids an open space for articulating their thoughts and publishing their artwork or poetry. With parental or school oversight, it can become a discipline, like playing the piano or practicing hoops. Classes can proudly publish the results of projects or class trips. Lesley University in Cambridge now includes a segment on blogging in a course on integrating technology into language arts.
Perhaps most importantly, kids can get a sense of what it's like to have an audience. Maybe someone out there is reading their blog; maybe not. Either way, the child suddenly is tuned to the larger world in a way he or she was not before. Teachers have been particularly excited about harnessing this aspect of blogging, as we can see from the excellent resource site called Weblogg-ed, The Read/Write Web in the Classroom (www.weblogg-ed.com/).
So what's the downside? None of the sources I consulted sounded a note of caution about blogs, so let me be the first.
One problem is that blogs often are created and perceived as diaries. This is both their charm and their danger. A diary, kept under lock and key in one's bedroom, is a great place to vent about the frustrations of your day. A diary posted to the World Wide Web - which may be read by anyone, including your family, friends (or former friends) and school administrators - is a really lousy place to do so.
All bloggers can be seduced by the seeming anonymity of the Web: Posting to a blog feels more like launching a message in a bottle than tacking one's secrets on a public bulletin board. But kids tend to have poorer judgment than adults about who could end up reading their intimate thoughts and what the consequences could be. A senior at my daughter's high school recently was expelled for posting threatening messages against a teacher on his blog. Had he confined his angry thoughts to pen and paper, he probably would be marching with his class this May.
Another problem is that the minute you engage the world of blogs, you are hammered by obscenities, bad writing and tedium. Here's an entry (cleaned of most of its foul language) from the blog of ``Laine,'' hosted on ModBlog.com, which illustrates this point: ``histroy (sic) spanish and biology is (expletive) . . . i hate this (expletive) school. mainly beacuse (sic) of the people . . . the (expletive) freshman are bugging the (expletive) out of me.. they freaking go in big groups and stand in front of the (expletive) hallway so no one can get through.. today some (expletive) freaking poked me in the eye . . . i shoved her coz i was (expletive) at the time...''
Need I say more?
In sum, kids' blogging is best confined to supervised environments, like a classroom or a club, where adults can exercise some editorial control. The potential of blogs is great, but it is for both good and ill.
``Blog'' is short for ``Web-log,'' and it is essentially a diary **(NOT)** published on the Internet.
It might have only that use for the average 15 year-old or so... but a blog is so much more for corporate entities... scribes... political as religious zealots (lol)... artistic and extroverted minds all over the globe!!! It is SO MUCH MORE (potentially) than the meek and pathetic use that many make of it - posting often incoherent and intelligible personal grievances for all to waste their time reading it... THAT is material for E-MAILS... or yes, the good old fashioned diary - on paper! Even e-mailing it is dumb - save it as mere DRAFTS... writing is cathartic but why force ANYONE to read such gibberish?!? Really - MUCH LESS SO POST IT FOREVERMORE ON THE WEB!!! Come on Kiddos! A mind is a terrible thing to waste... so is bandwidth and other people's time!!! LOL