So there was CBS news anchor Dan Rather, reporting from Kuwait on preparations for war with Iraq when he spotted a familiar face. A journalist from a rival network? A US general he'd interviewed elsewhere? No. The face was that of a man who, 12 years before, was caught trying to steal his car from a hotel parking lot in Fort Worth, Texas. At the time, instead of pressing charges, Rather opted to have a discussion with the fellow about the choices he was making. Today? He's an Army helicopter pilot who, as the newsman put it, "has his life together and is putting it on the line for his country."
Residents of the Eastern US, still digging out from under last week's massive storm, can perhaps appreciate the thinking behind an innovation coming to the capital of Sweden. Stockholm is installing talking parking meters in the hope that they'll facilitate snow removal. How? By playing a re-corded message that, as coins are inserted, reminds motorists to check signs that carry the street's plowing schedule and move their cars accordingly.
With war with Iraq appearing increasingly likely, the first large-scale conflict of the 21st Century could provide a field test of the latest high-tech equipment. Devices with military applications accounted for many of the last century's greatest technological advances, as ranked on a recent TLC cable channel program. The show identified one advance in each decade that has had the longest-lasting impact. TLC's top 10 technological inventions of the 20th Century, and the year each debuted:
Liquid-fueled rocket 1926
Atomic bomb 1945
Solar collector 1954
Personal computer 1975
Artificial heart 1982