Today's Headlines

US News

10 Dead In Nursing Home Fire
An early morning fire at the Greenwood Health Center in Hartford, Connecticut killed ten residents and injured twenty five more, according to fire officials. The fire broke out at approximately 2:35 AM this morning and consumed a corridor of the nursing home before being contained. More than 100 residents had been evacuated. One person has been arrested in the case, but details on the charges have not been made public.

Grand Jury Convened to Investigate Rhode Island Nightclub Fire
Rhode Island state officials convened a grand jury yesterday to investigate the nightclub fire that killed 97 people last week. The jury is expected to probe the case thoroughly, investigating not only the nightclub owners and patrons, but members of the band Great White (who was performing in the club at the time of the fire) and city officials. The club owners have been viewed as less than cooperative during the investigation, although one of the owners, Jeffrey Derderian, is a reporter for the local Fox affiliate and has given several media interviews since the catastrophe.

Snowstorm Nails Great Plains, South
Residents of the southern states of Arkansas and Texas received more than a foot of snow in the last 24 hours, resulting in the cancellation of dozens of flights and the closing of hundreds of businesses and schools. The bad weather is expected to continue today, where both areas are expected to receive additional freezing rain. The state of Texas is reporting that as many as nine deaths are related to the storm.

International News

Bush Threatens To Try Hussein As War Criminal
US president George W. Bush said yesterday that if Saddam Hussein or his generals "take innocent life, if they destroy infrastructure, they will be held accountable as war criminals." White House spokesman Ari Fleischer took this statement a step further, saying "If we go to war in Iraq, and hostilities result, command and control generals ... cannot assume they will be safe." This is the latest step in a continuing escalation of words from the United States on the building tensions with Iraq, rooted in the United States' accusation that Iraq possesses "weapons of mass destruction."

Saddam Says He Will Die In Iraq
In a three hour interview with Dan Rather of CBS News, Iraqi president Saddam Hussein stated that he would not go into exile, but would instead die in Iraq if there was a military conflict between the United States and his country. Other statements of interest during the three hour interview included a flat denial of any association between Hussein and al Qaeda and a challenge for a debate between Hussein and Bush to discuss the war issue, to be televised and broadcasted over the radio worldwide. The interview airs Wednesday evening on the CBS news program 60 Minutes II.

Fidel Castro Visits China
Fidel Castro arrived in Beijing, China for a four day visit and was greeted by a group of Chinese officials at the Capital Airport. On the agenda for Castro's four day visit include an official talk with Chinese leader Jiang Zemin and a formal welcoming ceremony in Beijing's Great Hall of the People. The visit is expected to reinforce good relations between the two nations, as Cuba is viewed as China's third most important trading partner.


AOL Launches Music Copying Service
America Online is launching a service today that will allow subscribers to listen to new music and copy it to CDs for a fixed monthly fee, which ranges as high as $17.95 a month for unlimited downloads. The first 30 days of the standard service are free for AOL subscribers. The program, called "MusicNet on AOL," is intended to increase the amount of money per month that the company can obtain from subscribers, since its subscriber base has fallen flat in recent months. The service is being run by a consortium of major record labels.

HP Profit Jumps 49% In Quarter
Citing a stronger market for consumer PC sales, HP reported a 49% increase in quarterly profit Tuesday, beating Wall Street estimates by a penny, excluding one-time charges. This is the company's best performance since its merger with Compaq last year, and provides an indication that perhaps the computer market is showing signs of a rebound after a sluggish two year period of sales.

Ex-Qwest Execs Named In Fraud Charges
The Justice Department filed charges on Tuesday against four former midlevel executives at Qwest, charging them with criminal fraud in relation to revenue inflation for a project to link schools in Arizona to the internet. The SEC also filed a civil securities fraud complaint against the same four executives, as well as four more, including one still employed by Qwest. This charge cites the Arizona school scam as well as services the company reported having sold to Genuity in 2000. This is the latest in a series of government crackdowns in securities fraud in the wake of the Enron scandal and other corporate accounting scandals of recent years.

Science & Technology

Pioneer 10 Falls Silent
After failing to receive a signal in the last two contact attempts, NASA has cancelled futher plans to contact the Pioneer 10 space probe. The last signal from the craft was received on January 22, 2003, which was extremely faint. It is believed that the ship's radioisotope power source has decayed and that the ship does not have the power to send a signal to earth. Pioneer 10 was launched March 2, 1972 and was the first ship to visit Jupiter. In 1983, the craft passed out of the solar system, becoming Earth's first extrasolar craft. It will continue to drift in space, heading in the general direction of Aldebaran, which it will reach in just over two million years.

Sun Alters Software Strategy
Sun Microsystems will reveal today details of its new software strategy, known as Project Orion. The new software is a subscription-based service which will deliver Sun's Open Net Environment software package on a quarterly basis to subscribers. The package will run on Solaris and Linux. Jonathan Schwarz, Sun's VP of software, describes Orion as "the new religion" and claims that it is "integrated and open, simple, supporting interoperable standards, predictable and ubiquitously available."

Microsoft Challenges IM To Evolve
David Gurle, Microsoft's product unit manager for the company's upcoming Greenwich messaging platform, said on Tuesday that instant messaging needs to move beyond its current paradigms and become a more ubiquitous enterprise application. Speaking at the IM Planet Spring 2003 Conference in Boston, Gurle compared instant messaging to a teenager with an identity crisis, and said that to truly grow, IM must "grow up," integrating itself into mobile and telephone networks and become a part of other applications such as stock trading.


Teens Drink 20% of US Alcohol
Researchers from Columbia University's National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse released a study yesterday evaluating public statistics from 1999 which indicate that underage drinkers account for almost 20% of the alcohol consumed in the United States annually. "'These analyses show that it is not in the alcohol industry's financial interest to voluntarily enact strategies to reduce underage or adult excessive drinking,'' the researchers said.

Experts Question "Black AIDS Vaccine"
Experts called into question VaxGen's claim of developing a vaccine that works well for treating AIDS in African-Americans. The study is seen as not being statistically sound, since only 13 black volunteers became infected during the trial. This small number could cause large statistical flaws in the study, meaning that VaxGen's promoted result, in terms of treating AIDS effectively in blacks, is likely very flawed.


Match Play Tournament Excites Golf Fans
The Match Play Championship opens today, which pits golfers against each other in a golf variation known as match play, in which individual golfers compete against each other in one-on-one competition. The level of competition in the tournament is high, and with Tiger Woods and Ernie Els teeing up, fans are hoping of a dream final between the two top golfers.

Bryant Finally Fails To Score 40
After nine consecutive games of scoring 40 or more points, Kobe Bryant's scoring streak ended last night, as Bryant scored 32 as his Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 109-98, the twelfth win in fourteen games for the Lakers. Kobe's streak sits at third on the all-time list, behind Wilt Chamberlain's streaks of 10 and 14 games.


My Big Fat Greek Life Big Success
CBS's new comedy My Big Fat Greek Life debuted on Monday, scoring 22.9 million viewers. The series is based on the smash hit film My Big Fat Greek Wedding and stars most of the film's cast. It was the most successful sitcom debut since NBC's Jesse debuted in 1998. With the ratings victory, CBS enlarged their already wide lead in the February sweeps, leading the other networks by more than a million viewers on average.

Robert Blake Goes To Court
Actor Robert Blake will finally get his day in court today, as a preliminary hearing to decide whether or not there is enough evidence against Blake to warrant a trial is held today. Blake is accused of shooting and killing his wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley, on May 4, 2001.

And Now, Some Typical Daylog Fare

After my recent writeups on Blue Jay Way and Pinkerton, several e2 readers have written me asking what was on my "depression tape" (and also on my "antidepression tape", but that'll wait for another day) that I listened to during some of the down periods in my life. What follows is a rough track listing of the tape, which was 110 minutes in length.

Side 1
Have You Ever Seen The Rain?
Blue Jay Way by The Beatles
Tonite Reprise by The Smashing Pumpkins
across the sea by Weezer
Yer Blues by The Beatles
No Depression In Heaven by The Carter Family
Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel
Violin Concerto (Mendelssohn) by Isaac Stern
All Apologies by Nirvana
Screen Door by Uncle Tupelo
Stuck Outside of Mobile (With The Memphis Blues Again) by Bob Dylan
Hungry Ants by Barry Adamson
Piggies by The Beatles
March of the Pigs by Nine Inch Nails
Sour Times by Portishead
Muleskinner's Blues by Woody Guthrie
Infinite Sadness by The Smashing Pumpkins
Subterranean Homesick Blues by Bob Dylan

Side 2
I Am A Rock by Simon and Garfunkel
Fur Elise
Brother, Can You Spare A Dime? by E. Y. Harburg
The Sounds of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel
Help! by The Beatles
I'm Down by The Beatles
Not Dark Yet by Bob Dylan
Waiting For The Miracle by Leonard Cohen
Burn by Nine Inch Nails
Numb by Portishead
Mandolin Rain by Bruce Hornsby
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down by The Band
Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who
One by U2
Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones
Acoustic Highway by Craig Chaquico
Alice's Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie
Butterfly by Weezer

It's pretty obvious that listening to this in a loop contributed to my feelings of depression, but at that moment in time, it was the only music that actually said anything to me.

I listened to this tape into oblivion twice; the copy I retain is my third copy of the tape. I reconstructed the whole thing from memory twice.

Some of the music reaches my ears now and seems trite and childish (Infinite Sadness is just way too much), but other tracks still ring true for me today. Take The Sounds of Silence, for instance; it's one of those songs that define the phrase "timeless;" when Simon and Garfunkel performed the song on the Grammys on Sunday evening, I was moved almost to tears by it once again after all these years.

Music is about an emotion; sometimes it captures a moment in time, but sometimes it captures a piece of who you are. My "depression tape" does both.

And The Sounds of Silence means as much today as the hundreds of other times I've heard it.