On the night of Feb. 17, 1864, the Confederate Navy introduced the art of stealth technology to naval warfare. As the Union blockade of Charleston suffocated the South Carolina port, the rebels unleashed a "porpoise." At least that's what officers on the USS Housatonic thought they saw rippling toward them in the dark.
Bob and Maria Alexander have their own end-of-century American dream. It takes the earthly form of a four-car garage. Bob, 41, owner of a clothing company, drives a sports car that once fit neatly beside his wife's wagon in their two-car garage in North Miami Beach, Fla.
"The Basketball Diaries" MAY not have been 14-year-old Michael Carneal's favorite movie. But one scene in particular stayed with the awkward Paducah, Ky., freshman: a young character's narcotic-tinged dream of striding into his school, pulling a sh otgun from a black leather coat and opening fire.
DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES, was an avid consumer of the racy British tabloids. Prince Charles, on the other hand, has long insisted that he doesn't read the popular press and privately scoffs that reporters are ""pests'' and ""hacks.'' So it came as a bit of a surprise two weeks ago when the prince, dressed in shirt sleeves, wandered back from his first-class cabin to talk to reporters flying with him on a royal trip to Africa.
Soon Americans will probably be able to decide whether they want to turn their airbags on or off. As two very different tragedies show, the consequences of that decision couldn't be more grave.IF WE COULD CHANGE WHAT happened to Becky Tebbetts, an 18-year-old college student, late one night in 1991, where would we start?
WHO IS BURIED IN GRANT'S TOMB? the answer is not a premium box of panatellas-although that would be a good guess. The National Cancer Institute (NCI), troubled by a sudden resurgence of cigar smoking in the 1990s, bas just begun work on a 150-page report on all the known data about the health risks of America's latest bad habit.
THE BOMB DIDN'T KILL ANYONE, BUT its political effect was devastating. The explosion shattered windows at a shopping mall in Manchester, in Britain's industrial heartland, injuring more than 200 people and perhaps mortally wounding the Northern Ireland peace talks, which began only five days before.
It is difficult to imagine a more formidable woman, in any age, than Queen Victoria. Empress of India and grandmother to Europe, she was fecund (nine children, 35 grandchildren, including monarchs of Russia, Germany, Spain and Greece) and formal (to the end of her days, she allowed her physician to examine her only by asking questions at a distance).
British political journalists hate sunshine. It makes them ill. Their natural environment is a dark, smoky bar, deep in the bowels of the Palace of Westminster, where they plot and connive with the embittered, twisted, ambitious and just plain bitchy M.P.s with whom they are locked in a devil's embrace.
And you think American voters are disgusted? Try Britain, where one third of the electorate can't make up its mind. Only days before the April 9 general elections, the race between Conservative Prime Minister John Major and Labor leader Neil Kinnock was too close to call.
Credit those long Swedish winters. More than three generations ago, Swedish adults struggling with the ennui of the endless cold nights began forming "study circles." They gathered informally to talk about subjects ranging from Egyptian art to quaint foreign languages like English.