A millennium-free section (almost)

Not to worry. No millennial chatter here. And very little in this last Arts & Leisure section of the 1900s.

But we did think Dec. 31, 1999, would be an appropriate time to take a look at New York's Times Square, the place Americans probably most associate with New Year's Eve. Native New Yorker Ward Morehouse III, whose office looks out on the square, tells how this onetime theater district is morphing into something else - a kind of "virtual New York," ringed by superstores, megasigns, and TV studios beaming the square (and their messages) to the world.

We scratched our heads here a bit when film critic David Sterritt chose a documentary called "Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter Jr." as one of his Top 10 movies of the year.

On page 16 David explains why the film (just beginning to reach theaters nationwide) has important things to say about, well, life-and-death issues, and how the method it uses to deal with these issues is changing the way nonfiction films are being made. It's accompanied by an interview with the filmmaker, Errol Morris (page 17).

A millennium correction (or update, really): Egypt has abandoned its project to place a massive gold cap on the Great Pyramid of Cheops (reported here Dec. 17), deciding that could harm the several-millennia-old landmark.

The motive had been good: to delight the eye at a historic moment and hint at how the pyramid looked in its ancient glory. But even wiser thinking won out, and that's all to the best.

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(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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