New York, Bombay, Sao Paulo, Mexico City--what comes next in this series? Why?
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Wednesday's Question (No. 320)--"Futurific":
"It is one of the most significant developments in the history of the space age," said John E. Pike of the Federation of American Scientists, reacting to Tuesday's big event. What happened?
"I got a pedicure for the first time. I had no idea of the impact I was having."--Merrill Markoe
"NASA replaced the faulty O-rings in Al Gore."--Jon Hotchkiss
"Quarter beer night at Hooters, just down the road from FAS headquarters."--Brooke Saucier
"At the AARP's request, early-bird specials will be available on all flights to the moon."--Ellen Macleay
"I'm excited about the Buffy-Angel crossover, too, but let's not get too excited."--Matt Sullivan
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I hate the space program. It's bread and circuses without the bread. And with a crappy little circus that's got, like, maybe one trained donkey who isn't feeling very well. Even NASA's most enthusiastic supporters must admit that the early promise of this program has been unfulfilled. "The conquest of space has moved ahead with breath-taking speed since the Space Age began on October 4, 1957," says the 1960 edition of the World Book, without shame because it's just an inanimate object and can't feel shame, unlike some kind of Space World Book of the future that will know all human emotions and will be perfected any minute. "On that day, Russian scientists launched the first true space traveler, a chain-smoking dog named Laika, who, after befouling his kennel and biting his trainer on the ass, was rocketed aloft in a spacesuit filled with his own urine," it does not add. I've always favored the alternative plan--small, unmanned probes, along with a gigantic annual bonfire of $1,000 bills folded into origami cranes. A-OK!
I'mNot Looking Down on You, I'm Just Looking Down Answer
On Tuesday, the first high-resolution image of the Earth taken by a commercial satellite was made public.
Space Imaging Inc. of Thornton, Ohio, released a photo taken by a satellite 400 miles above Washington, D.C. The image of the Washington Monument and the surrounding area is as crisp and detailed as some military spy satellite photographs.
The Clinton administration approved private space cameras in 1994. Three other companies expect to orbit their own satellites by next year. These cameras can resolve objects as small as 3 feet wide, accurate enough to show a house or a car but not a person, although you could make out the cloud of evil roiling around the head of mass-death enthusiast Trent Lott.
DanDickinson Calls for an End to all This Baptist Bickering
Dear Randy and John Murdoch: Lighten up. Baptists have come a long way. They're speaking to one another in liquor stores now.
Below, actual lead sentences that made participants instantly turn the page, or change the channel, or slip a fresh clip into a cheap and easily obtainable hand gun or "Saturday Night Special" purchased within 50 feet of an elementary school, as our reporter goes undercover to ... well, you know--what The New Yorker used to call "letters we never finished reading" (or something).
- "I ..." A.M. Rosenthal, New York Times.--Daniel Radosh
- " 'Complicated' is a word for Tori Amos ..." Natasha Stovall, Rolling Stone--Ken Tucker
- "El Duque loves Chinese food, Derek Jeter loves the nightlife, and John Olerud loves showtunes." New York Post Oct. 14, 1999--Beth Sherman
- "When you dial 911, will you get the help you need? Sam Donaldson investigates." Promo for Monday's 20/20.--Matthew Heimer
- "As we head into high summer I find myself thinking often of summers long ago and a way of life long gone."--Abigail McCarthy in the July 16, 1999 Commonweal magazine.--Jim O'Grady
- "Attention Harvey Keitel fans ..." Start of the Entertainment Weekly review of Lulu on the Bridge.--Daniel Radosh
- "Good news tonight for New York's pro-wrestling fans." Delivered some night last week by an anchor on the Fox local affiliate.--Matthew Heimer
- "You, LESLIE GOODMAN-MALAMUTH, are the kind of man that Men's Journal is writing for ..."--Ms. Leslie Goodman-Malamuth
- "For nearly a year, while Bill Bradley labored to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate, Al Gore studiously ignored him." From William Saletan's Wednesday "Frame Game"--Roger D. Hodge
- "Make sure to stay tuned for a live concert featuring the Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync, and 98 Degrees."--Mary Fee
- "Raising a beaker with a balloon inside, Steven Jacquier peers at a wonder of the world." USA Today, Oct. 14, 1999.--Beth Sherman
- "This is Dan Rather, reporting from the eye of the hurricane."--Lee J. Nemetz