The Null Device
The American Language: Only in America are restrictions on smoking at home considered "ultraliberal"; presumably that's from "liberal" meaning "left-wing", which would make Stalin and Mao liberal extremists. All rather amusing; sort of like the way anti-gentrification protesters in San Francisco were calling the stock-optioned, SUV-driving exponents of dot-com hypercapitalism "dot-communists". (Undoubtedly derived from "communist", meaning "unamerican, having alien values; an evil invader".)
Nominations are being accepted for the 2001 Bloggies.
Officials in Russia are planning to build a rail tunnel from Siberia to Alaska, with the aim of connecting Russia's rail network to North America. If they have passenger trains, it should be an interesting journey. The project is in its early stages; meanwhile a project to build a similar tunnel between Japan and the Russian mainland is due to begin this year.
Life sucks, doesn't it? Well, it does if you're the poor shmuck known as DotComGuy. A year ago, he volunteered in a brave, noble experiment in the realms of human... um, OK, a daft publicity stunt. He changed his name to DotComGuy and endeavoured to spend the entire year 2000 confined to his home, interacting with the world only through the Internet; his valiant quest was sponsored by a number of Internet startups, who said they'd pay him US$100,000 if he successfully completed his quest. A year later, he's flat broke, not to mention horribly out of shape from subsisting on ordered-in pizza and saddled with an embarrassingly stupid legal name, Meanwhile, his sponsors have been wiped out by the dot-com bust, so it doesn't look like he'll be seeing that $100K. But not everything is hopeless for our hero; he is reportedly happily in love, and about to get married -- to a woman he has never seen in real life.