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TheStreet.com examines events that shaped our century's business world


As the end of this year and the millenium draw near, it's only natural to expect magazines and newspapers to publish their own look back at our history as a people and a nation.

We're already seeing signs of this on cable television and in print media. You'll find it as well on the Internet.

But the interesting twist to the list created by financial news Web site, TheStreet.com, is how they determined their Top 100 list.

The criteria wasn't the magnitude of the event itself, but how a particular vent may have shaped the world of business over the entire century.

The list is an interesting look back at how business, both big and small, has contributed to how business works today.

Some events you expect to see are noted. J.P. Morgan's consolidation of the U.S. steel industry in 1901 kicks off the list, coming in ranked No. 58.

The Wright Brothers' flight doesn't make the list, but first flight of the Douglas DC-3 as a commercial passenger plane in 1935 ranks at No. 27 in the list.

I won't spoil the top event as picked by the staff of TheStreet.com, but I will give you a hint: This event took place during the 1950s.

To read more about how business today was shaped by the events of yesterday, go to www.thestreet.com/basics/ and click on the link for "The Basics of Business History: 100 Events That Shaped a Century."

AUSTIN ACTION, BABY! Can't get enough of that retro British secret agent Austin Powers?

Well, you can satisfy your appetite with a weekly dose of Powers and help him with his battle against Dr. Evil via an interactive e-mail.

True blue Austin fans will want to get all 12 episodes, because that's the only way you'll complete your training to become a certified International Man of Mystery.

For the interactive Austin Powers e-mail to work, you have to download two small files first.

One file is the ToggleThis interactive animation applet. The second is the Austin Powers character animation and sound file.

Once a week, you'll receive the Austin Powers episode (the first deals with getting your mojo working, baby) which is sent as an e-mail attachment. Simply click on the attachment to launch it, and start your training to combat evil.

The interactive e-mail is complete with graphics, cool sound effects, voices and an appropriate retro soundtrack.

For more information on how to receive your own interactive Austin Powers e-mail, visit www.austinpowers.com/togglethis/.

It's definitely BYOM -- a Bring Your Own Mojo thing, baby!

SIXTH FLOOR VIEW. It's been hailed as a "exploitation" and "unfortunate," but Web surfers now have a chance to see what the public before could not -- the view from the window where Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas.

The view from the sixth floor window of what was then the Texas Book Depository on Dealey Plaza had been blocked, since it is now part of a museum exhibit, and sits behind a glass-enclosed display that recreates the way the area looked on Nov. 22, 1963.

One of the most common requests from visitors has been to see the view from the window as Oswald would have seen, explained Jeff West, the director of The Sixth Floor Museum.

The Web cam is a joint project between EarthCam and the museum, and is available around the clock.

For more information, visit the museum's Web site at www.jfk.org.

HIP CLIPS. Business uses of the Internet and the World Wide Web seem to make headlines frequently these days. Many folks who surfed the Web in its infancy -- two or more years ago -- will remember when whimsy and humor was paramount.

So this week, I'm handing out my coveted (and sporadically awarded) "Good Use of the Web" award to the new Warner Bros. Hip Clips Web site.

As the name implies, you can download music, cartoon and movie clips from the prolific talents at Warner Bros, covering both classic and new material.

You'll need the Microsoft MediaPlayer to enjoy them, but rest assured, if you don't have MediaPlayer, downloading and installing it for this site is well worth the time you invest.

Visit Hip Clips at www.hipclips.com.

Comments and questions about this column may be sent to jbrooks@myoldkentuckyhome.com, or visit www.myoldkentuckyhome.com on the World Wide Web.

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