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Top News Stories
of 2003

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"tdc's Froggy"
             tdc's Animated Frog   Be patient, I'm coming!

Spin, spin, spin, spin.... out of control in 2003

Froggy's  Comments 
Right  From The Pond

I May Be all Wet but I know what I'm taken' about..."

In January 2003 President Bush ramped up the propaganda machine  to get support for a war against Saddam Hussein in an attempt to get the rest of the members of the UN security council on his side for a preemptive strike against Iraq.

The US in early February ramped up their terrorist alert status US  partly based on fabricated information. 

By mid March after the UN inspectors had spent time looking for weapons of mass destruction and even having Iraq destroy over 55 of their missiles, George W, Tony Blair and the Spanish Prime Minister declared that they had had enough in waiting time.  Then George W gave Saddam 48 hours to leave Iraq after which he declared war on Iraq. 

Well, it didn't quite go as planned for George W and his friends. 

And he declared war on Iraq with only the British and Australia  as his real allies.

By mid April, the war was almost over with Saddam and his sons no longer in sight.  There were no weapons of mass destruction and Bush threatening Syria with military action.  The Americans had taken over the oil fields, a new Iraq government was in the making  and looters had destroyed ancient artifacts such as some of the famous Sumerian tablets.  

Osma Bin Laden was still alive, Saddam and his sons too with contracts for fixing up Iraq going to Bush's friends.

Then in May, George W declared the war was over and turned his attention to rebuilding Iraq and sent in his own people to do this....which included hiring Halliburton an old company of which VP Dick Cheney was still receiving money. George took over a people who did not want to be ruled by the US and a guerilla war ensued that experts said might last years. 

The army then went to the press to say that they were fed up been fed with lies as when they would be going home. 

In July, the US military found Saddam's two sons and killed them. They then showed the bodies to the world and Iraq's guerilla war against the Americans continued killing Americans nearly every day.

In November, George W as the US and Britain lost confidence from the public for a long involvement in Iraq, he flies to Baghdad airport the most dangerous airport in the world to address the troops. - It works to sway the American public toward a long involvement in Iraq as he says he needs to troops to suppress Iraq insurgents who are attacking America's freedom. 

On December 14th, American forces found Saddam Hussein and captured him alive. The question that come to mind is will Iraq become more stable because of the capture and what will this do to help George W become president of the United States for a second term.

However, despite this the attacks on American troops in Iraq continue with the count now of about 10,000 troops that were either killed or injured since the US set out to liberate the Iraq.

As the year ends and the attacks on coalition troops continue, the deadline of a July 1st handover of the government to an American style Iraq is quickly fading. 


Science The crania of two adults and a child, all dated to be around 160,000 years old, were found in Ethiopia They are described as the oldest evidence of modern humans, or Homo sapiens. 

In July the world held its breath as two 29 year old Iranian conjoined twins were separated in an operation in Singapore.  Soon after they were separated, massive bleeding could not be stopped and both twins died.



Mid August and one part of the North American Power Grid goes down leaving 50 million people in Eastern United States and Canada without power. They say it started in Lansing Michigan and shut down power to all 50 million users in less than 12 seconds.  The blackout brought to a focus the venerability of the electrical distribution system of North America and the potential cost to fix the problem as being $50 billion dollars.

In September early numbers indicated that the US economy had made a turnaround. Stocks began to rise and by December they had regained 20 percent of their previous value. 



In February, NASA's space shuttle explodes upon re-entry killing 6 astronauts returning from a space mission.  It was later learned that a piece of foam had broken a hole in the wing of the shuttle causing the explosion.  As result the Space Shuttle program will not fly again until into either 2004 or 2005 giving the Europeans and Asians a big lead in the race for space. 

Cosmic dust that all planets are made of is generated in bulk by exploding stars

In August, astronomers confirmed by a new method one of the saddest stories of the Universe - one day the stars in the sky will all stop twinkling - the rate of new star formation has been in decline. 

Our universe is about 13.7 billion years old, flat, composed almost entirely of matter and energy that scientists still don't completely understand -- and will continue to expand forever, according to a new "baby picture" of the early universe captured by a NASA satellite. 

The ice cap at Mars' south pole is made almost entirely of ice made from water, rather than from carbon dioxide as had previously been thought

"There should no longer be doubt in anybody's mind that gamma-ray bursts and supernovae are connected," says Thomas Matheson of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics,

By mid July, there were several spacecraft from Europe, Japan and the US on their way to Mars all to arrive around December 2003 - January 2004

In July, Astronomers in Australia say there are 10 times more stars in the visible universe than all the grains of sand on the world's beaches and deserts

In October, China sent their first astronaut skyward and circled the globe 26 times to become the third nation capable of launching a man into space.

In December, scientists seem to agree that the universe is made up of dark matter and energy to explain why the universe seems to keep expanding. This supposition was not supported by experimental evidence.

Also in December, the new space infra red telescope reveals new images about the universe.

Mars, in early summer was the closest it will be for a long long time.  Japan, European and US space agencies took advantage of this and sent their satellites off to Mars with the British Beagle 2 to be the first to land on Christmas Day.
But Beagle 2 still could not be confirmed to have landed as of the end of the year. 



Did you know that in 2003, it was announced in the Lancet, Britain's prestigious medical journal that "  A study by British doctors has found the drugs commonly prescribed to pre-school children may have little effect " ?

Now how many other prescriptions costing consumers and taxpayers millions of dollars have little effect?

SARS ... Dominated the press as it swept from country to country via people flying in airplanes... In North America Hospitals were closed to the public and people who came in contact with potential SARS patients were quarantined to their homes for 10 days.  Health Scientists frantically sought a medical solution to this outbreak and the public in North America generally freaked. 

In Toronto, as many as 20,000 people were quarantined at one time and 40+ died from SARS.

In Asia where it all started, tourism plummeted as the WHO stated travel advisories for Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing and Guangdong. 

Mad Cow Disease.... In May, the Canadians found one case of Mad Cow Disease and the US, Mexico, Japan and other countries closed the doors to Canadian beef. 

In July, the world was riveted by the story that a team of doctors would try to separate twins who were conjoined at the head for 29 years. After two days in surgery, both died and the world wept. 

And early in October, North America was attacked by the A Fujien flu, a flu bug that people living here were not even vaccinated against. However, there was lots of flu vaccine sold to millions of persons with the promised that maybe it would help to lessen the pain if one got the Fujien flu. Perhaps a little lessen in hand washing would have done a better job.

In December  just before Christmas, the United States announced that they had found on cow that had been infected by BSE.  Immediately, Japan, Korea and other importers of beef shut their borders as Americans began to struggle with the fact that some of the contaminated meat had entered their domestic distribution system.


Environment No progress here as the war in Iraq and SARS dominated most governments. 

Along the way throughout 2003, there was talk that Russia a key player in the Kyoto accord will pull out.  Well, they did and the greenhouse effect of warming the planet seems to be getting worse.

Summertime, a heat wave hit Europe and stayed there for three weeks sending record temperature to Britain and Europe.  In France, there were an estimated 10,000 who died as result of the heat.  The Chirac government was under the microscope to explain why. 

The heat wave  roasted France this summer killing 11,435 people in the first two weeks of August alone, making it, in human terms, one of the worst natural disasters in that country's history.

In Canada, hot dry weather hit the West Coast igniting huge forest fires which burned many villages and in the east hurricanes devastated Canada's Maritime provinces.  This was also true in Italy were giant forest fires burned large tracts of land.

At the end of the year, a large earthquake hits the ancient Iranian city of Bam killing somewhere between 15,000 to 20,000 people.  The Iranians plead for international help which is sent in to help the people where 80% of the buildings are leveled. Authorities are now saying it could be as high as 40,000.


Peace What peace? 

On Valentine's Day Han Blix the UN's chief weapons inspector addressed the UN security council and told them that Iraq's leader Saddam Hussein was not in violation of the United Nations ban on weapons of mass destruction as he could find none.  The United States and Britain immediately said that these weapons were moved around Iraq by truck.

The USA and Britain has sent 200,000 troops to conquer Iraq.  They say liberate it from Saddam .... North Korea after being called on of the axis of evil had its oil taken away from it by the US.  As result of this they have fired up their nuclear reactor which produces both power and plutonium .  And says that if the US decides to put more troops into the area, they might have a preemptive strike against the US forces.

The old days of the fight between northern and southern Ireland and Palestine and Israel seem like Sunday school picnics in comparison to what George W has instigated 

In the Mid East, George W and company invented a "road map" to peace for Israel and Palestine. In May, George W went to the Mid East and tried to broker a deal that will stick between the two fractions. He succeeded to by kicking out Yasser Arafat getting the Israeli Prime Minister to say he would follow the road map.

Then two weeks later all hell broke loose and both sides were killing and blaming each other again.

In December, things seemed to have quieted down except along the Gaza strip which continues with killings on both sides. 

Surprisingly enough, the peace accord in Ireland seems to be holding.


Internet Late October, there was so much e-Mail moving in cyberspace that servers became backed up and could not keep up with the amount of information trying to be passed between people on the Net.   From being an instant messaging service eMail became overnight a messaging service that required sometimes 48 hours to go from a sender to a receiver thus hampering the growth of the Net.

The present number of subscribers remained in the 600 million much the same as
2002,  however the transfer on information increased dramatically between these people.  It was noted from a study by American scientists that 48 % of a person's time in the USA now is spent transferring and processing information.

What was happening was that more and more people signed up for high speed internet access - which of course quickly plugged up the servers.  People used this wonderful tool to transfer whatever data they wanted movies, images, sound clips, at next to no cost,  thus sent all kinds of stuff.... including lots and lots of SPAM. 

In October Scientists at the CERN particle physics laboratory in Switzerland sent the equivalent of a full-length DVD movie in about seven seconds doubling the world speed record for internet data transfer and I bet in 2004 it will be faster. 

Viruses, Spam, Spyware and Popups

First it was the possibly of credit card fraud, then the attack of viruses, spyware that went inside your computer, SPAM that flooded the e-Mail, and now unwanted Popups and unwanted links  are placed into web pages.  And people keep buy anti - whatever software to try to protect their computers from being attacked. 

In August, an 18-year-old was accused of writing a version of the damaging "Blaster" computer infection that spread quickly across the Internet

In December, it was reported that growth of the net had slowed in 2002 to almost a trickle in the US although it has become a way of life for 2/3 of the population.

This downward trend could be caused from the onslaught of viruses that happened in the fall of 2002. The number of people who are internet  technically challenged will not come on line for this reason. 

Wireless, that is what some companies are betting on in the future as they take on DSL and high speed fiber networks. Yes, they can and the speed is faster and it is cheaper.

Wireless has a huge advantage in terms of its low capital investment cost compared to wired access.

There are services offering wireless speeds of 512 Kbps to more than 100 Mbps, and monthly subscription rates run anywhere in Canada from about $40 Cdn for home accounts to hundreds of dollars per month for high-bandwidth business connections.  A setup fee of about $400 Cdn is required for residential use. 


Entertainment Harry Potter, Harry Potter, Harry Potter.... Lord of the Rings, and the future impact these movies have on the little ones growing up today..  The entertainment industry in the United States now takes about 9 % of the gross expenditure of every citizen who lives there. This is about the same as what is spent on food.  


Biggest Disappointment of the Year The fact that many of the most sophisticated countries of the world fought George W's war on global terrorism and after a war lasting 100 + days - Osama Bin Ladin could not be found and by Christmas was thought to be still alive. 

It did not seem that anyone did anything about the root causes of  the conflicts that killed and effected thousands of innocent people during 2003.

Your Comments?

Have a Happy 2004 Folks !

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