Nanny state update: Georgia Gov. Zell Miller, fresh from seminar on the beneficial effect of classical music upon developing prenatal minds, asks his legislature to cough up $105,000 to provide every expectant mother with a highbrow tape or CD. Down home lawmakers engage in furious debate on who recorded the definitive version of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy — Leonard Bernstein or Buck Owens.
Overall, the Great Ice Storm of ’98 was an ill wind that blew no good, but it did help solve one of the eternal mysteries of life: when the icebox door shuts, the light does, in fact, go out.
The drama of the Around the World Balloon Race still struggles to keep a straight face. Here’s the scorecard: Steve Fossett makes a third of an orbit, quits when his heater does same; Kevin Uliassi takes off from Chicago, and gets all the way to East Chicago, Ind., before he springs a leak; Richard Branson watches his balloon sail across the Moroccan desert without him; and, just last weekend, Dick Rutan and David Melton launch the million-dollar Global Hilton from New Mexico, rise to 5,000 feet and promptly parachute to safety when their cappuccino machine fails. The renegade balloon jeopardizes air traffic for two days before it comes to rest in a Texas utility tower, knocking out power west of the Pecos. Next up: Moe, Larry and Curly.
Ignorance is bliss: A new University of Chicago study reports that those who have the most education have the least sex. If you can read this, you have our condolences.
The storm has been tough on all, including the media. Radio and TV have flickered on and off, newspapers have scrambled to keep their presses rolling. All of which makes a good enough excuse for why the Arroz con Pollo (rice with chicken) recipe in last Wednesday’s food section omitted the rice. Hey, it was cold and dark in here, OK? Oh yeah, throw in some chicken, too.