|Jack the Ripper! |
The Mysterious Hill of Tara,
Dark Energy, Big Bang Puzzle,
Firefly, Peg Phillips & More!
|Jack the Ripper - A New Suspect!|
|November 13, 2002 (Sydney Morning Herald) - Bestselling crime novelist Patricia Cornwell has turned her forensic talents to bear on one of history's most enduring crime mysteries - the identity of the 19th century serial murderer, Jack the Ripper. |
Published yesterday, Cornwell's Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper, Case Closed points the finger of guilt at the Impressionist painter Walter Sickert, who was known to frequent London's seamy underbelly around the time of the murders.
Sickert has been offered up as a Ripper candidate before, although numerous specialists have rejected him.
Cornwell has acknowledged spending $US6 million ($A10.66 million) of her own money researching her book, which marks a non-fiction break from her Kay Scarpetta novels about a medical examiner who solves serial murders.
The money was used to purchase drawings, paintings and letters of Sickert, who died in 1942 aged 82, and on tests comparing samples of the artist's DNA with those recovered from letters attributed to the Ripper.
Cornwell's research indicates that at the time of the murders, Sickert was either in London or holidaying in Dieppe, north-western France - close enough to commute.
She also showed that the alleged Ripper letters and some written by Sickert used paper from the same stationary company.
|Bush Reverses Snowmobile Rule|
|By John Heilprin |
Washington November 12, 2002 (AP) - The Bush administration plans to allow more snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks on average, while cutting numbers on the busiest days. The decision reverses one taken during the Clinton presidency that would have banned them by next winter.
There would be no limits on snowmobiles for the winter season beginning next month and running until mid-March, Interior Department officials said.
But starting in December 2003, no more than 1,100 snowmobiles a day would be allowed in the two popular parks together and a portion of the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway connecting them, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
For the past decade, the parks have had an average of 840 snowmobiles daily during the winter but as many as 1,650 a day during holiday and other busy weekends. Both parks are in northwestern Wyoming, but Yellowstone also extends into Idaho and Montana.
Interior planned to release an environmental impact statement today that details the proposal. The ceiling represents a compromise between the unlimited access wanted by snowmobile makers and users and the ban sought by environmental groups and some Democrats in Congress.
"This is just a boon to the industry," said Kristen Brengel of the Wilderness Society, an environmental group. Bill Dart, public lands director for the Idaho-based Blue Ribbon Coalition, which advocates opening more public lands to recreational motor vehicles, said his group is satisfied with the peak-days ceiling, even though it might not reflect the rising popularity of snowmobiling in the parks in recent years.
"Clearly, I don't think they're caving to industry," Dart said. "They're talking about one-third less numbers on peak days."
To minimize the impact and maximize safety, the regulations would require that 80 percent of the snowmobiles allowed in the two parks be led by commercial guides. Also, beginning next year commercially rented snowmobiles would have to have four-stroke engines, which are said to be quieter and less polluting. Private snowmobile owners could use traditional two-cycle engines until the 2004-2005 winter season.
Interior officials said their plan is based on a belief that four-stroke engines can significantly cut noise and reduce emissions of hydrocarbons by 90 percent and carbon monoxide by 70 percent.
They left open the possibility of adjusting the caps based on results from air quality and noise monitoring stations that will be installed in the parks.
"This plan, in essence, stays away from the extremes," said Eric Ruff, an Interior Department spokesman. "It strikes a good balance. It protects resources and allows visitors a unique experience."
The Environmental Protection Agency recommended in 1999 that snowmobiles be barred from the two parks as the "best available protection" for air quality, wildlife and the health of people who work and visit there. Interior advanced that idea in the waning days of the Clinton administration.
The Bush administration ordered a new review as part of a settlement with snowmobile makers who challenged the proposed ban.
|The Mysterious Hill of Tara|
|By Evelyn Ring |
Galway Ireland November 12, 2002 (Irish Examiner) - A huge temple, once surrounded by about 300 huge posts made from an entire oak forest, has been discovered directly beneath the Hill of Tara in Co Meath.
Conor Newman, an archaeology lecturer at NUI Galway, said the discovery at the ancient site made sense of the positioning of other graves and monuments in the area.
"It fills a very important place in the jigsaw because it allows us to make sense of the distribution of other monuments all around it."
When Mr. Newman moved to Galway he continued to be involved in the project Using sophisticated technology, he and his team of experts mapped what was underground. The work was slow and tedious because it yielded such a huge amount of information.
|Please Return Our Spears!|
|By Wendy Frew |
Australia November 11, 2002 (Sydney Morning Herald) - The first British visitors souvenired spears hurled at them by the Botany Bay welcoming committee. Now the locals want them back.
When James Cook and Joseph Banks returned to England in 1770 after their first South Pacific sea voyage, they took with them an array of flora, fauna and cultural artifacts from this newest of worlds. The booty included a collection of about 50 Australian Aboriginal spears that had belonged to the Gweagal people of Botany Bay.
Four of those spears - the only material reminders of the first meeting between Aborigines and Britons on the east coast - still exist. Few Australians have seen them.
The spears are held in England at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University, England. On permanent loan from the university's Trinity College, they are subject to one of the many requests for the return of indigenous people's artifacts that beset museums around the world.
Archaeologists say that the collection is priceless as the spears are among the few artifacts traced to Cook's first voyage.
Some of the Gweagals' descendants still live in Sydney. One of them, Shayne Williams, has taken a softly-softly approach to negotiations with Trinity. He would like to see the collection back in Australia. However, he recognizes the role Trinity has played in looking after it.
"We have to be open-minded," he says. "The reason these artifacts still exist is because they have been preserved by British museums."
The spears were collected by Banks during the Endeavour's six-day stay at Botany Bay. The primary purpose of the first of Cook's three epic voyages was to observe from Tahiti the transit of Venus across the sun. But botany was the predominant occupation of the voyage, now considered one of the most successful scientific explorations of its time.
The flora and fauna collections have been well studied but little is known about the everyday weapons, personal ornaments and articles used by the people of the South Pacific that were collected. Some artifacts may still be in private hands. Others have been lost.
Those held in museums around the world are often poorly documented. However, the provenance of the Australian spears is clear.
Sailing up the east coast, Cook and his crew reached Botany Bay in April 1770. In his journal Banks wrote that some of the Aborigines retreated into the bushes as the Endeavour approached. However, several warriors remained on the rocks, "threatening and menacing with their pikes and swords".
After about 15 minutes there was an exchange of musket fire and spears. One of the Aborigines was hurt; Cook's men were unscathed.
The sailors went up the beach to an encampment. Convincing himself that it was abandoned, Banks "thought it no improper measure to take away with us all the lances which we could find about the houses, amounting to 40 or 50". Of that cache, only four remain: two bone-tipped three-pronged spears, one bone-tipped four-pronged spear and a shaft with a single hardwood head. Cook gave the spears to his patron, John Montagu, First Lord of the Admiralty and Fourth Earl of Sandwich, who passed them on to Trinity.
Trinity College council would make any final decision about the artifacts. Dr David McKitterick, head of Trinity's library, where the spears were on show for many years, explains that the need to educate people about different cultures by display would be set against the importance of returning the collection.
|JODRELL BANK OBSERVATORY NEWS RELEASE |
Manchester UK November 12, 2002 - An international team of astronomers, led by scientists at the University of Manchester have produced new evidence that most of the energy in the Universe is in the form of the mysterious "dark energy".
The new evidence comes from a 10-year census of the sky for examples of gravitational lenses, which are seen when a galaxy bends the light from a distant quasar to form several images of the same quasar.
Linking the number of lenses they found with the latest information on the numbers of galaxies, the scientists have been able to infer that most of the energy in the Universe is likely to be in an invisible, and presently unknown, form.
However, in the past 5 years several independent groups of astronomers have amassed evidence suggesting that dark energy exists and could well dominate the total energy of the Universe.
When a quasar is gravitationally lensed by an intervening galaxy two or more images of the quasar are produced but they are hard to recognize as the images are less than one thousandth of a degree apart. The team therefore employed several of the world's most powerful radio telescope arrays to make radio pictures of thousands of distant quasars.
Professor Peter Wilkinson points out that "we chose to use radio telescopes for our survey since they can pick out details many times finer than optical ones, even the Hubble Space Telescope".
The census showed that about one out of every 700 distant quasars is lensed by a foreground galaxy.
The result which emerged is that around two thirds of the Universe's energy appears to be dark energy.
The remaining third is made up of Dark Matter, whose form is presently unknown, and "ordinary" matter which makes up the stars and planets.
For both of these forms of matter gravity acts as normal and attracts. In contrast dark energy has long-range anti-gravity properties and now appears to be causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate, rather than slow down as would be expected if gravity was the dominant force.
While astronomers have no idea about what dark energy might be, these new results add to their growing confidence that it is real.
|Simultaneous Solar Flares|
|SUNSPOT, NM November 11, 2002 (AP) - Scientists say they have made the unprecedented discovery of solar flares erupting almost simultaneously on opposite sides of the sun. |
The flares — massive eruptions of hydrogen from the sun's surface — were observed by researchers at the National Solar Observatory in southern New Mexico on the morning of Oct. 31.
Simultaneous solar flares have been seen in the past, but never so far apart. Scientists at the observatory are trying to determine whether the eruptions were linked or a coincidence, said solar physicist Don Neidig.
Experts said the discovery could have far-reaching consequences if more cases are observed.
"Now we have only one example of two flares that go off simultaneously that far apart, so it could be an accident. If we see more of these ... then it becomes extremely important," said Stephen Greggor, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of New Mexico.
Observatory researchers speculated that magnetic fields may have primed the flares to erupt seconds apart.
They cautioned, however, that there is too little data even to put forward a theory.
|Bosnian Radiation Blamed on NATO|
|By AIDA CERKEZ-ROBINSON |
Associated Press Writer
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina November 12, 2002 (AP) - U.N. experts said Monday they found three radioactive hotspots in Bosnia resulting from ammunition containing depleted uranium used during NATO airstrikes in 1995.
The tests found radiation at two sites in the Sarajevo suburb of Hadzici and one in Han Pijesak, in the Bosnian Serb republic, according to preliminary results released by the United Nations Environmental Program.
During its 1995 bombings of Serb positions around Sarajevo, NATO used munitions containing depleted uranium, a slightly radioactive heavy metal that is used to pierce armor. The Bosnian government said some 10,800 rounds with the material were fired in its territory.
Once lodged in the soil, the munitions can pollute the environment and create an up to 100-fold increase in uranium levels in groundwater, according to the U.N. Environmental Program.
"We are concerned about the situation at the Hadzici tank repair facility and the Han Pijesak barracks," said Pekka Haavisto, the chairman of the U.N. agency's task force.
In Sarajevo, the U.N. team detected depleted uranium-related materials and dust inside buildings that are now used by private businesses. At the site in the Bosnian Serb republic, the contaminated area is used as a storage facility by army troops.
The areas where radiation is detected should not be used until the sites are decontaminated, Haavisto said.
The international experts were invited by the Bosnian government to investigate concerns that depleted uranium could harm residents and international peacekeepers.
The U.N. team advised the Bosnian government to start decontaminating the three sites and educating people about potential hazards.
Apart from this team, a medical sub-team composed of experts from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Army, visited several hospitals in Bosnia, collecting medical data and statistics. A full report was to be published by UNEP in March 2003.
|Antinuclear Activists Protest Waste Shipment|
|By Juergen Voges |
DANNENBERG, Germany November 12, 2002 (AP) — Antinuclear activists staged a parade through this north German town near a nuclear waste dump Monday, and two police officers were injured in a skirmish with demonstrators.
Police said most of the roughly 1,000 protesters demonstrated peacefully against a shipment of 12 containers of atomic waste that are expected to arrive in midweek after traveling by rail and road from a reprocessing plant at La Hague in France — the biggest shipment yet to the dump at Gorleben.
Yet about 100 radicals clashed with police, who responded with truncheons. Two officers were injured, police said.
About 60 people also succeeded in blocking the road between the town of Dannenberg and Gorleben, ignoring a ban on all demonstrations within 50 meters (about 150 feet) of the final stretch of the route.
The site at Gorleben, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) southeast of Hamburg, has long been a traditional focus of Germany's antinuclear lobby.
On Monday evening the transport departed from La Hague, accompanied by more than 300 police riding in three cars that were added to the train, the Cogema reprocessing company said. The train was expected to reach the French-German border Tuesday afternoon.
About 15 Greenpeace activists wearing white jumpsuits protested at the Valognes train terminal as the 1,455 ton shipment left northern France.
Over the weekend, farmers and antinuclear groups in Germany symbolically set up at least 12 "villages," with camp fires and bales of hay, near the route, and several thousand people demonstrated at Gorleben.
Authorities have banned protests within 50 meters (about 150 feet) on either side of the final stretch of the convoy's route.
This week's shipment is the first since last November, when demonstrators repeatedly defied some 17,500 police to stage sit-down protests along the route through Germany. Those protests were smaller than demonstrations that marked the previous transport in March 2001, the first in three years. The previous German government had suspended shipments after radioactive leakage was discovered in some containers.
Spent fuel from Germany's 19 nuclear power plants is sent to France and Britain for reprocessing under contracts that oblige Germany to take back the waste.
Last year, the government and power companies signed an agreement to phase out nuclear power within about 20 years. Activists hope that protesting waste shipments will push up the security bill and force a quicker shutdown.
|Big Bang Puzzle|
|University of Rochester Press Release |
Rochester NY November 11, 2002 - Scientists have recreated a temperature not seen since the first microsecond of the birth of the universe and found that the event did not unfold quite the way they expected, according to a recent paper in Physical Review Letters.
The interaction of energy, matter, and the strong nuclear force in the ultra-hot experiments conducted at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) was thought to be well understood, but a lengthy investigation has revealed that physicists are missing something in their model of how the universe works.
"It's the things you weren't expecting that are really trying to tell you something in science," says Steven Manly, associate professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Rochester and co-author of the paper. "The basic nature of the interactions within the hot, dense medium, or at least the manifestation of it, changes depending on the angle at which it's viewed. We don't know why. We've been handed some new pieces to the puzzle and we're just trying to figure out how this new picture fits together."
At RHIC in Brookhaven, NY., Manly and his collaborators on the PHOBOS experiment wanted to probe the nature of the strong nuclear force that helps bind atoms together. They smashed two atoms of gold together at velocities near the speed of light in an attempt to create what's called a "quark-gluon plasma," a very brief state where the temperature is tens of thousands of times higher than the cores of the hottest stars. Particles in this hot-soup plasma stream out, but not without bumping into other particles in the soup. It's a bit like trying to race out of a crowded room-the more people in your way, the more difficult to escape. The strength of the interactions between particles in the soup is determined by the strong force, so carefully watching particles stream out could reveal much about how the strong force operates at such high temperatures.
To simplify their observations, the researchers collided the circular gold atoms slightly off-center so that the area of impact would not be round, but shaped rather like a football-pointed at each end. This would force any streaming particles that headed out one of the tips of the football to pass through more of the hot soup than a particle exiting the side would.
Differences in the number of particles escaping out the tip versus the side of the hot matter could reveal something of the nature of that hot matter, and maybe something about the strong force itself.
As Manly says, this "dramatically increases the computing complexity" of any model researchers try to devise.
Where mass itself comes from has been one of physicists chief conundrums for decades. Manly hopes that if we can understand exactly why the quark-gluon plasma behaves as it does, we might gain an insight into some of the rudiments of the world we live in.
|NASA Cancels Moon Book|
|By Dr David Whitehouse |
BBC News Science Editor
Washington November 8, 2002 (BBC) - The US space agency (NASA) has cancelled the book intended to challenge the conspiracy theorists who claim the Moon landings were a hoax.
NASA declined to comment specifically on the reasons for dropping the publication, but it is understood the decision resulted from the bad publicity that followed the announcement of the project. Criticism that NASA was displaying poor judgment and a lack of confidence in commissioning the book caused it to abort the project, agency spokesman Bob Jacobs said.
Oberg will still write the book
NASA had hired aerospace writer Jim Oberg for the job on a fee of $15,000. He says he will still do the work, although it will now be an unofficial publication with alternative funding.
The book will deliver a point-by-point rebuttal of the theory that the Apollo landings were faked in a movie studio, to convince the world that the US had beaten the Soviets to the Moon. It will explain why in still and video footage of the landings, no stars can be seen in the Moon sky, why a flag appears to ripple on the atmosphere-free satellite and why shadows fall in strange directions - all "facts", conspiracy theorists say, point to a hoax.
Some commentators had said that in making the Oberg book an official NASA publication, the agency was actually giving a certain credibility to the hoax theory.
|Mark Twain's Frog Loses Battle|
|Oakland November 8, 2002 (Earthjustice) - In a decision filed November 6, 2002, environmental groups seeking to retain more than 4 million acres of critical habitat designated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service for California’s threatened red-legged frog were dealt a significant set-back. |
Washington D.C. Judge Richard Leon’s ruling approves a sweetheart deal entered into between the Home Builders and the Service from which conservationists were excluded to redo its study of the designation’s economic impacts, and nullifies all but 200,000 acres of critical habitat protection for the frog until that study is completed.
"It’s a sad day for California’s natural heritage," said Mike Sherwood, Earthjustice attorney who argued the case on behalf of several environmental organizations. "The builders got exactly what they wanted -- carte blanche to continue to destroy the habitat of a species already reduced to living on a small fraction of its historic range."
Critical habitat for this amphibian species, widely believed to be Mark Twain’s Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, was established in March 2001 after a series of lengthy public hearings and thorough scientific review. Environmental groups had litigated for years to gain this protection for California’s vanishing, literary amphibian under the Endangered Species Act.
Only three months later, the Home Builders Association of Northern California and other development interests filed suit in Washington, D.C. to overturn the designation, which protected watersheds in 28 counties and many of the remaining freshwater streams and wetlands in the San Francisco Bay Area and Coast Ranges. The frog’s critical habitat also included some of the last remaining wetlands in California, 90 percent of which have already been destroyed.
"As far as our frogs are concerned, the Home Builders may be better described as the home wreckers," said Dr. Robert Stack, of the Jumping Frog Research Institute. "Shouldn’t we be seeking to balance the need for human homes with the need to provide the same for our beloved frog?"
Earthjustice intervened in the lawsuit on behalf of several conservation groups including: the Jumping Frog Research Institute, the Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation, the Pacific Rivers Council, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Sierra Club.
"We do not believe this decision reflects the intent of Congress when it passed the Endangered Species Act," said Sherwood, who represented the coalition at the October 2002 hearing before Judge Leon. "The court has decided to put the economic interests of California’s developers ahead of protection for a threatened species, which runs counter to the Act. Without critical habitat protection, the frog is at the mercy of developers. One day, the only place left to see this famous frog may be the zoo."
The fight to conserve the frog’s habitat is not over. Conservationists will press the Service to re-establish adequate critical habitat upon completing the new economic analysis.
Earthjustice - http://www.earthjustice.org
|Genre News: Firefly's Last Round-up? Majel Roddenberry, T3, The Incredible Shrinking Man and More!|
|Firefly's Last Round-up? |
Hollywood November 13, 2002 (eXoNews) - Welp, it sure does look purdy, Captain Mal, but the fact is the Old West is a dyin'. Ain't much we can do about it, I suppose, but let's think on it a bit anyway.
Folks are just plain shying away from Firefly. Maybe they just need a little history learnin'.
Some say the idea of a sci-fi western is just too radical, but truth be told, there been lots of sci-fi westerns afore Firefly. Probably some silent flickers started it, but old timers hereabouts still recall when Gene Autry himself went up against them Muranians down below Radio Ranch in The Phantom Empire. That was back in 1935, when there weren't hardly no telly vision to speak of at all.
Science fiction and westerns always been kin. Don't know exactly when they started calling outer space adventures "space operas", but you can be danged sure they got it from "horse operas".
Used to be a whole lot of them horse operas! TV and the western had a great romance starting in 1945 when Hopalong Cassidy movies first hit the tube. Hoppy had his own show from 1949 to 1952. Gene Autry followed Hoppy to TV in 1950.
Roy Rogers started making movies with the Sons of the Pioneers in 1935, and Roy and Dale grabbed TV by the gun belt from 1951 through 1963. After that, westerns were everywhere.
The wagons kept rollin' for decades, from Death Valley Days and Annie Oakley to Have Gun Will Travel and Maverick. Bonanza ruled the range from '59 to '73, and shows like The Virginian were big all through the 1960s. Gunsmoke ran from 1955 to 1975!
Time was that there was a western on TV every night in almost every prime time slot. You never saw so many cowpokes trading lead! It was a glorious day for wranglers!
Now I know we was talkin' about Firefly here, so I want to make it clear that one of the first successful television westerns had a cowboy flying around in the clouds.
Weren't no space ship, mind you, but Sky King started on radio in 1947 and did an honorable run on TV in his single engine plane from '51 to '56.
Some folks still remember being raised up eating them Kraft Cheese Dinners and watchin' Sky and Penny and Clipper save the range from the Big Bads.
And heck, when Jim West and Arty showed up on the big screen recently, nobody was surprised to see them. Will Smith fans all know that The Wild, Wild West was really just a science fiction show set on the frontier.
Hard to believe it was only new from '65 to '70 - especially since it's still running out there in TVLand. The Wild, Wild West is probably the most repeated western in television history.
[Trek Irony: most Trekkers know that DeForest Kelley was Morgan Earp in director John Sturges' 1957 western classic Gunfight at the OK Corral. Ed.]
So yer darned tootin' there's a tradition in genre bending westerns and science fiction and there's no doubt that Joss Whedon had a good idea when he saddled up Firefly.
Question is, why the Sam Hill doesn't Firefly have an audience?
Turned out that Mulder and Scully's pursuit of aliens far outweighed Brisco and Comet's search for the mysterious orb, even though Brisco became a cult favorite rerun after it got the axe and it helped make Bruce Campbell a star.
CBS launched Space Rangers in 1993. It was a Trek clone with western overtones - the Rangers used lead bullets instead of phasers - but audiences failed to tune in and CBS canned the show after six episodes.
Other feature films have come on like space westerns, but the only recent one worth mentioning is 1998's Soldier from director Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil).
Kurt Russell did a great John Wayne pilgrimage in Soldier, which is a wonderful shoot 'em up that is mostly sci-fi, part High Noon, part Shane. Unfortunately, Soldier was no blockbuster.
Like the real Wild West, modern times have eclipsed TV western traditions. Today's breed of fans don't know how to react to simple morality tales with heroes in white hats. The infamous 18-49 demographic have no cowboy stars to idolize outside of Toy Story.
They need to be taught to ride, but most of them have never even seen a live horse.
Maybe Fox just needs to remind viewers of the heritage that Firefly celebrates.
Watch Firefly on Fox Friday at 8PM / 7C - http://www.fox.com/firefly
Firefly Fans Bidding To Support Show
Firefly: Immediate Assistance Press Release November 11, 2002 - Fans of the new FOX show Firefly are putting their money where their mouths are. In an effort to raise funds for a campaign to save the show, fans are bidding for Firefly collectibles on eBay.
Firefly Fan site - http://www.fireflyfans.net
Read a previous eXoNews article on the Save Firefly fan initiative here or click Search in the menu bar.
Majel Roddenberry Live!
London November 13, 2002 (eXoNews) - Majel Roddenberry is the mother of us all! I signed in to a very small celebrity chat with her once, hosted by Nelson Aspen on MSN (this was way back in 1997 when MSN was doing its all-Flash, experimental thing), and Majel's not just Gene's widow. I think it's safe to say that Majel is the ultimate Trekker. She's also a grand dame with a terrific wit and great stories.
Majel went on to play the Voice of the Enterprise computer (and Voyager's) in addition to that original Number One and Nurse Chapel on TOS and, of course, Deanna Troi's mom on DS9. She owns a lot of rights within the amazing Trek franchise, and she also co-produces Andromeda with Kevin Sorbo. Andromeda is currently getting the highest weekly numbers of any independent syndicated TV show, BTW.
Warners Previews Terminator 3 Site
Supercards On The Way
The collector's series will be loaded with randomly inserted bonus cards including six different cards autographed by series regulars Allison Mack (Chloe), John Schneider (Jonathan Kent), Eric Johnson (Whitney) and others.
Smallville Official site - http://www2.warnerbros.com/web/smallville/ledger/home.jsp
The network has ordered a script for "Mr. and Mr. Nash," and Alan Cumming ("Cabaret") has signed to play one of the leads.
|Actress Peg Phillips Dies at 84|
|SEATTLE November 8, 2002 (AP) - Margaret "Peg" Phillips, a retired accountant who took acting classes at age 65 and won fame as the tart-tongued shopkeeper Ruth-Anne Miller in the television series "Northern Exposure" is dead at 84. |
Phillips, an unrepentant smoker, died Thursday of lung disease at a suburban care center.
Born in Everett, Phillips wanted to be an actress from age 4 but worked as a bookkeeper and tax accountant to pay the bills and rear her four children. Only after retiring did she enroll in the University of Washington drama school in 1984. She soon landed so many jobs that she was unable to complete her degree.
In 1990 she was cast in what was supposed to be an intermittent role in "Northern Exposure," a CBS series on the fish-out-of-water travails of a New York doctor working off his student loan in the fictional town of Cicely, Alaska.
Shot in suburban Redmond and Roslyn, 65 miles from Seattle, the show began as a summer replacement series but became so strong in the ratings it ran through 1995.
Phillips made her character so popular she was given a regular role.