Today's Headlines

US News

Freeland Takes Stand In Riot Investigation
After five days of testimony, a jury of five men and seven women will be asked whether two black men are guilty of murdering a white police officer in 1969. The defendant, Stephen Freeland, was the final witness, testifying in his own defense in response to the twelve witnesses that identified him as the shooter. Officer Henry Schaad was shot while riding in an armored car during the riots.

11 Feared Dead In Army Helicopter Crash
An Army helicopter carrying 13 soldiers on a training mission in a wooded portion of Fort Drum in New York crashed, leaving only two survivors. The Black Hawk helicopter went down on the west edge of Fort Drum, which is located about 75 miles north of Syracuse, New York and covers about 167 square miles. At a press conference at the base, Major Daniel Bohr said that one soldier walked away from the accident and one other was in serious condition.

SF Police Trial Dropped
A judge yesterday dismissed conspiracy charges against the police chief and assistant police chief of San Francisco at the request of the embattled district attorney, who said the evidence didn't support an indictment. A week ago, the DA, Terence Hallinan, said that he was ready to go to trial, but after reviewing the 1,300 pages of grand jury testimony, Hallinan decided that there was not enough evidence to continue.

International News

UN Security Council Support For War Crumbles
United States Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced yesterday that Britain may not participate in a war against Iraq if the Security Council does not pass the most recent resolution supporting war in Iraq. The statement was quickly retracted, but it leaves an apparent gap in the support for a war in Iraq even among the supporters of the war.

US Tests Massive Bomb
In preparations for an expected war with Iraq, the United States yesterday tested a bomb that delivers a payload of 18,000 pounds. The bomb is designed to explode a few feet above ground level, sending out a wave of fire and explosive force that will level everything within a quarter mile radius. The bomb, called the Massive Ordnance Air Blast, is the largest payload ever assembled onto a single conventional bomb.

Blair Fights To Stay Alive
With support crumbling for the war with Iraq both from within and internationally, Tony Blair is facing a very tricky political situation and has thus become determined to secure the votes needed for a further resolution to disarm Iraq. Blair now supports a new set of conditions by which to evaluate Saddam Hussein's disarmament policy and hopes to introduce these before the Security Council soon.


Intel Begins Centrino Push
Today, Intel is expected to unveil its Centrino mobile technology for notebook computers. Intel is hoping that the technology will capitalize on the spread of wireless LAN hotspots worldwide. Announcements are expected to be made worldwide today, with the first announcement in Hong Kong concerning the Pentium M processor, which features the Centrino chipsets already integrated.

Airlines Warn of Economic Disaster
The airline industry is warning of an 'economic catastrophe' if the proposed war with Iraq goes forward, even going so far as to claim that a federal takeover of the airlines may be necessary for the system to survive. The industry estimates an additional $4 billion loss this year if there is a war on top of the already projected $6.7 billion loss. In addition, another $2.3 billion would be lost if the war was compounded with terrorist attacks in the United States.

OPEC Leaves Oil Supplies Unchanged
Crude oil prices remained steady overnight on news of OPEC's decision to maintain the current levels of oil production. The logic for the lack of a move, according to OPEC, was to see what kind of diplomatic solution there might be to the war situation and that there is "no shortage of oil right now." Gas and oil prices have risen recently in response to a fear of a potential war in the Middle East.

Science & Technology

Major League Baseball To Offer Live Internet Telecasts
MLB.TV, a new service from Major League Baseball, is now offering season-long audio and video packages for $79.95 or pay-per-view options for $2.95 a game. The package is intended to supplement television broadcasts, allowing fans to see and hear most of a team's games and get around local blackout rules that govern television broadcasting. The full schedule of games will be released on March 25 and will average about 45 games a week.

SuSE Set To Offer A Linux Package For Home Users
SuSE Linux 8.2, set for release next week, is being redesigned to make the Linux operating system easier for home users to use. The new distribution includes an installer designed for home users, KDE 3.1, and word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation tools. SuSE hopes that this new distribution will begin to open up the home computing market to Linux.

Afghanistan Makes Major Telecom Push
Officials in Afghanistan are considering a comprehensive policy for the development of communications technology in the nation, which has been left far behind in the development of the worldwide information revolution during the Taliban regime. The government hopes that a comprehensive and speedy development program for their communication infrastructure will increase job opportunities, relieve poverty, and reduce the large wealth gap in the country.


Assistance Device For Failed Livers Entering Testing
The University of North Carolina is testing a new device called ELAD (for extracorporeal liver assist device) which they hope will extend the lives of people with donated livers and may actually help people with damaged livers to heal themselves completely. The device is inserted via a catheter and takes blood that would normally pass through the liver and processes it externally, allowing the liver time to heal and recover.

New Anthrax Vaccine Made From Spinach
Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University have developed a new strategy for making a better and safer anthrax vaccine, using spinach to manufacture a key compound. The process involves the use of a spinach virus which produces a weakened form of the protective antigen that is a component of the anthrax toxin. This can be used in the creation of a vaccine which scientists hope will be more effective and less dangerous than the current vaccine.


UConn Women Winning Streak Ends At 70 Games
The longest winning streak in Division I women's basketball history ended at 70 games Tuesday night as Villanova upset #1 Connecticut 52-48, giving UConn its first loss since the end of the 2001 season. The game, which was the finals of the Big East Conference tournament, guaranteed Villanova a slot in the NCAA tournament. UConn will get an at-large bid and likely retain their top seed. Coach Geno Auriemma hoped that the loss would give the team motivation heading into the NCAAs.

Bobby Knight Returns 2002 Salary To Texas Tech
Bobby Knight returned his entire $250,000 salary for the past year to Texas Tech University because of his dissatisfaction with his performance and his team's performance during the season. "I'm just not at all satisfied with what transpired with our team in terms of our fundamental execution. I don't think it's anybody's fault but mine," Knight said. The team is 16-11 heading into the Big 12 tournament, but had gone 6-10 in the conference.


Broadway Strike Ends
After four days of striking, the musicians and the producers on Broadway finally reached an end yesterday, as the sides agreed to a ten year deal. The two sides agreed to a minimum of 18 musicians at the 13 largest theatres on Broadway, but with a smaller number at other theatres. The conclusion was reached at the urging of mayor Michael Bloomberg, who strongly encouraged the two sides to work it out because of the potential financial damage to New York City.

The Rolling Stones Have Songs Banned In China
The Chinese government has told The Rolling Stones that they cannot play four songs during their upcoming shows in China. The songs, Brown Sugar, Honky Tonk Women, Beast of Burden, and Let's Spend The Night Together, were banned without a specific reason, but each include provocative lyrics. The songs were also cut from the Chinese edition of the Stones' recent hits compilation Forty Licks.

And Now, Some Typical Daylog Fare

Woke up, fell out of bed
Dragged my comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup
And looking up I noticed I was late
Found my coat and grabbed my hat
Made the bus in seconds flat
Found my way upstairs and had a smoke
Somebody spoke and I went into a dream

Last night, I had an extremely vivid dream that I won't really relate here (that's more dream log material), but it was rather troubling. I woke up and wished that someone was nearby, but that person wasn't there. She was asleep in the next room and I looked in at her sleeping for just a minute. I wanted to hug her, but just looking at her was enough.

I flopped around in bed for a bit and dozed on and off until it was almost too late. I rolled out of bed and literally tripped and fell on the floor. I quickly packed a bag, combed my hair, then stopped in a kitchen for a quick drink just before sunrise. I then ran down the stairs to catch the bus, then sat down and began to ponder the dream I had.

When I got to work, I realized that my morning was pretty much exactly taken from the song A Day In The Life. A little John Lennon number from thirty five years ago captured the essence of a slice of my life today.

Note: I will be doing some traveling over the next few days (in which I likely won't be able to post much until March 17, 2003, but we'll see), but when I return I will have some additional time to write here for several days because of a change in my daily schedule and routine.

Lent Diary, Day 8

In my daylog for February 19, 2003, I outlined my plan for a challenging Lenten discipline: no food or water during daylight hours. Visit that daylog for more details.

A couple of people have recently asked me how much time I spend a day in meditation.

I generally spend a half an hour in meditation early in the morning around breakfast time, depending on how I'm feeling. Sometimes I do this immediately after waking; other times, I'll do some of my morning activities first.

My longer (and more fulfilling) meditation usually comes in the evening around sunset, although I postpone it regularly if other events interfere. This meditation usually lasts about forty five minutes and is often much deeper, especially since I have started this Lenten discipline.

What do I think about? Interestingly enough, I actually use a mantra. I clear my mind and repeat the mantra inside of my mind several times and then thoughts and feelings begin to flow. I don't try to think of particular things; I just let things flow where they may. Often, it is incredibly beautiful.

I think it keeps me quite balanced, especially during this Lent.