'KING OF TELEVISION' TURNS 90
The man who holds the record as the most prolific producer and performer in the history of television, Ralph Edwards, is turning 90. Although he is an all but unknown celebrity to most young people, to the baby boomers and older Edwards was an omnipresent driving force in both radio and television.
His "Truth of Consequences" show -- premiering in 1940 on radio and in 1950 on TV -- ran for 38 years, a record.
Edwards traveled more than 100,000 miles during World War II; his show sold $500 million in war bonds and spawned "This is Your Life."
For 300 episodes, all done live, Edwards surprised Hollywood stars and other "honored guests" by bringing back long-lost loved ones. Today's reunion shows owe it all to him.
His production company produced more than two dozen hit shows, including "The People's Court" and "Name That Tune" and he discovered Bob Barker and put him to work.
WEB SITE OFFERS 'SNEAK PEEKS'
The popular online site space.com is offering fans of terrestrial geography the chance to "tune in" on some of Earth's great places.
Included in the close-up aerial photographs are: Mount Rushmore, Montreal's Olympic Stadium, the Daytona International Speedway, the Egyptian Pyramids and Hoover Dam.
One of the more unusual photo shots is of the so-called "Boneyard" at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona. That is the resting place of thousands of older, obsolete aircraft.
An active volcano, downtown Athens and even a glacier are viewable in color through the Web site.
CATHOLIC SCHOOLS RE-EMERGE IN MEMPHIS
In the past year there has been a rebirth of Catholic schools in Memphis, largely because of two huge contributions.
An anonymous donor has given multi-million dollar grants to the system because he or she simply is "a believer in disciplined education."
The first gift, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, came as a surprise. The second was even more surprising.
Parochial education is suffering a double whammy -- increased operating costs, partly because of the few remaining nuns, and the fact parents already pay taxes to support public schools they don't use and have to pay tuition for the schools they choose. So the donations were a shot in the arm for the flagging system.
In Memphis, as in many other large cities, many parochial schools have closed over the years because parents can not afford to pay tuition to send their children to private schools.
COMPUTER USE GROWING EXPONENTIALLY
The nation is becoming "increasingly wired," witness the dramatic rise in the number of people getting on the Information Superhighway with each passing day.
During the past year the Commerce Department has noted the average monthly rise in computer use in this country is more than 2 million.
More than half of U.S. citizens now have Internet access -- either at home, school, workplace or at another location.
Government statistics show in 1998 only about 33 percent of Americans were connected. The total is now a full one-half of the population.
Nearly half of all Americans now use some kind of e-mail on a regular basis. Nearly 40 percent of Americans now buys articles and services in cyberspace.