Monthly Archive: January 2008

Google Guys: 20 Good Years?

Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and CEO Eric Schmidt say they have agreed to work together for 20 years. The three told Fortune magazine that they made the agreement before the company went public in 2004. Schmidt will turn 69 in 2024; Page and Brin will both turn 51.

Battle of the Presidential URLs

When Rudy Giuliani called it quits On Wednesday afternoon, he also brought a merciful end to 2008’s clumsiest campaign URL: surprise: The four top remaining candidates all are masters of their own

Mohandas Gandhi, +60

It’s been 60 years since the 1948 death of Mohandas Gandhi.

McCain, Clinton Win Florida

Senator John McCain has won the Republican primary in Florida. Hillary Clinton won easily in the Democratic race.The St. Petersburg Times ia a good spot for local reporting on the Florida results.

Obituary First Lines: Margaret Truman

Margaret Truman Daniel died on Tuesday after a brief illness. Here’s how some major papers sum up her life:”Margaret Truman Daniel, 83, President Harry Truman’s only child, a mystery novelist whose early efforts as a singer famously led her father to threaten an unkind critic with a punch to the nose…” -The Chicago Tribune

Kennedy Without the Schlossberg

After Caroline Kennedy’s recent endorsement of Barack Obama, some blogs commented that Kennedy “dropped her married name” to give the endorsement. This aroused our curiosity.Who2 has itself always listed Kennedy by what we believed to be her legal name, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg. (She married businessman Edwin A. Schlossberg in 1986.)

Perth Papers Cover Ledger

The newspapers of Perth, Australia — hometown of Heath Ledger — continue to offer heavy coverage of the actor’s death.PerthNow, the local NewsCorp website, has a very busy story archive, with recent reports suggesting Ledger may have died of natural causes.

Obama Wins South Carolina

Democrat Barack Obama has won his party’s South Carolina primary with 55 percent of the vote. Obama also won a symbolic victory in Sunday’s New York Times: Caroline Kennedy endorsed him in an op-ed piece titled “A President Like My Father.” She is the daughter of former president John F. Kennedy.

Sharapova Reads Cell Phone, Wins Open

Maria Sharapova has won the 2008 Australian Open. She defeated Ana Ivanovic, 7-5 and 6-3. It’s her third major singles tennis title, after Wimbledon in 2004 and the U.S. Open in 2006.

Mary Lou Retton is 40

Mary Lou Retton turns 40 today.She was the first woman to appear on the front of a Wheaties box, says the cereal’s fun facts page. It happened in 1984. Babe Didrikson was the first woman athlete to appear on the package — in 1935.

Joe Burk: Rower

Sometimes it’s nice to remember the days when amateur athletes were top dogs.The New York Times reports on Joe Burk, who “won honors on Thames and Pacific.” Dude rowed and played football at Penn, was a single-scull champ afterwards, then won the Navy Cross on a PT boat in World War II.

Bush Twins: Born in Dallas

With Jenna Bush engaged to be married, this seems like as good a time as any to clarify a fact about her past: Jenna and her twin sister Barbara were born in Dallas.

Heath Ledger Found Dead

Stunning news from New York: actor Heath Ledger, the star of the movies Brokeback Mountain and A Knight’s Tale, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on Tuesday afternoon.

Fred Thompson Drops Out

Republican Fred Thompson has dropped out of the 2008 presidential race. The Washington Post has details.That leaves five serious contenders for the GOP nomination.

Trading Vlad for Telly

Factoid of the day: On the same day that Communist icon Vladimir Lenin died — 21 January 1924 — TV

Brady and Pats Now 18-0

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are now one win away from the first 19-0 season in NFL history.The Patriots beat San Diego on Sunday, 21-12. That punched their ticket to Super Bowl XXXX-somethingorother on February 3rd, where they’ll play the New York Giants.

Obituary First Lines: Bobby Fischer

Chess champ Bobby Fischer has died in his adopted home country of Iceland. Here are the opening lines from selected obituaries:”Bobby Fischer, the eccentric genius and high school dropout who became the only US world chess champion, has died in self-imposed isolation…” – The Financial Times

Bobby Fischer Dead

News reports say eccentric chess champ Bobby Fischer has died in Iceland at age 64.This video (5 mins.) captures the turmoil of Fischer’s 1972 win over Boris Spassky. Fischer won the championship, but never defended it and gave up his title in 1975.

Rudyard Kipling’s Deceptive Lifespan

Rudyard Kipling, author of The Jungle Book and Gunga Din, died on this day in 1936.The year is surprising. Kipling seems like a figure from the olde Victorian Age, not someone who was still alive when Woody Allen and Willie Nelson were lads.

Lincoln’s Wet Inauguration

The Library of Congress has dug up some new photos of President Abraham Lincoln’s second inauguration.

Mona Lisa, Finally Unmasked?

Scholars at the University of Heidelberg say they have determined the true identity of the Mona Lisa “once and for all.”

Mitt Romney Takes Michigan

Mitt Romney has won the Republican primary in Michigan, where his dad was once governor

Dr. King Speaks to Detroit

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on this day in 1929. The birthday is celebrated publicly with a holiday next Monday.(As an aside: April 4th will be the 40th anniversary of his death. Had MLK lived, he’d be 79 years old today.)

Image via Wikimedia Commons

More on Volta

Who2 science editor Paul Hehn adds his thoughts on Alessandro Volta:”Interesting guy, Mr. Volta. He must have been very good at networking… it would have taken too many words to include in his profile the stuff about Lombardy going from Austria to Napoleon to Austria again, with Volta never losing a step along the way. Everybody’s friend, apparently.

Bogey +51

Humphrey Bogart died 51 years ago today.

Midwife to the Stars

We recently wrote about the “ER to the Stars,” Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Beverly Hills.As if on cue, pop star Christina Aguilera and TV semi-star Nicole Richie gave birth there, “minutes apart,” on Friday. (Richie went first.)

New Profile: The Volt Man

Count Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta — better known as plain ol’ Alessandro Volta — is our newest profile.

The Lincoln Bicentennial

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:1381:]]Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday is due next year. (He was born in Kentucky on 12 February 1809.)Turns out the Library Congress is already on the job with a lively Lincoln Bicentennial celebration.The timeline is a nice touch. And the Did You Know? section includes this timeless tidbit: “Lincoln had a dog named Fido.”

All This and Fossett Too

Yesterday we mentioned that Sir Edmund Hillary and Neil Armstrong once traveled together to the North Pole.Now we find out that record-breaking pilot Steve Fossett was also on the same expedition. The Brisbane Times has more.

Edmund Hillary: An Appreciation

Americans are lucky to have Neil Armstrong as a native example of a rare specimen: the superbly modest hero. He mixed quiet determination with curiosity, nerve and good humor, and when he was done tackling the moon, Armstrong went back to Ohio and taught aeronautics.

Sir Edmund Hillary Dies

Sir Edmund Hillary, the former beekeeper who conquered Mount Everest in 1953, has died.His home-country New Zealand Herald is a good place to start for news and tributes.

Donald Fagen Is 60

Donald Fagen, “reclusive avatar of High Pop,” turns 60 today.All About Jazz has a wonderfully detailed analysis of his new boxed set, The Nightfly Trilogy.

Queen Elizabeth, “Nintendo Addict”

First she went YouTube. Now Canada’s National Post is having fun with reports that Queen Elizabeth II is “hooked” on Nintendo bowling.

Never Bring a Corpse to a Check-Cashing Party

Two plucky oldsters in Hell’s Kitchen ignored that good advice. The comment from New York cops: “Hell’s Kitchen has a rich history.”

New Hampshire Primary Results

Is it possible to have a “comeback” on the first day of an election? If so, Hillary Clinton and John McCain seem to have done so.

Happy Birthday, Dear Elllllvis…

It’s Elvis Presley’s birthday — and he’d still be only 73 years old.He’s the same age as Ron Paul, Woody Allen, and Darth Vader.

First in the Nation?

As the candidates battle in New Hampshire, Dixville Notch battles its own rival.

Nicolas Sarkozy, Playboy President?

News reports say that Nicolas Sarkozy, the just-divorced president of France, is just-maybe-possibly engaged to former model Carla Bruni.Journal di Dimanche has a photo set on Bruni. The paper broke the story yesterday, saying Sarkozy and Bruni might marry in February.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center: ER to the Stars

Frank Sinatra died there. Kate Hudson was born there. Alex Trebek went there after his heart attack. And this week, Britney Spears was taken there after a mental meltdown.

D.B. Cooper’s Tattered Cash

Brian Ingram, the 8-year-old who discovered a wad of D.B. Cooper’s cash in 1980, now has his own website:’s selling some of the bills on Ebay.

Iowa Caucus Results

Mike Huckabee wins on the GOP side with 34% of the vote; Mitt Romney takes second with 25%.

Happy Birthday, Dear John Ronald Reuuuuel…

Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien would be 115 today.Factoid: Dude was born in South Africa, 30 short years before heart-switching playboy Christiaan Barnard.

Students Examine Chandra Levy Case

Nearly seven years have passed since intern Chandra Levy disappeared in Washington, D.C. Her remains were found a year later, but nobody has ever been charged with her murder. Now students at Bauder College in Atlanta will spend a year digging into the case, according to The Modesto Bee.

FBI: D.B. Cooper Wore J.C. Penney

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2357:]]In November we mentioned a brand new suspect fingered by New York magazine in the D.B. Cooper mystery.Now the FBI is back on the case with a release titled, cheerfully, D.B. Cooper Redux. (The language is remarkably chatty throughout, actually; perhaps the bureau is trying on a new user-friendly image.)The release includes some new details about Cooper:

Sara Jane Moore Sprung

The San Francisco Chronicle has an extremely colorful report today on Sarah Jane Moore, who tried to shoot President Gerald Ford in 1975.

Hospital: Police Prevented Bhutto Autopsy

What a way to start the new year. Officials at Rawalpindi General Hospital now say that the chief of police prevented them from doing an autopsy on the body of Benazir Bhutto.The government apparently removed all medical records from the hospital immediately after Bhuttos death — and then told doctors to keep quiet.