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Culture

Time waits for no Weil

The Internet brings out every Tom, Dick, and Polonius who can't wait to dispense their advice du jour to the masses. One such font of Net wisdom, Hotwired's guru of granola Dr. Andrew Weil, broke his contract to jump to Time Warner's Pathfinder site, as my esteemed colleagues reported on Friday. Thorough they were, but perhaps too polite to mention that Time magazine just happened to splash Dr. Weil on its cover the same week. Ain't it crazy how these things work out?

Hiking in the Quebec woods near Grandma DuBaud's summer home, I learned a lot about nature as a youngster. How to apply a blueberry salve to a wolverine bite to avoid infection, for example. Or how to mix urine and the sap from a young mint tree to stave off dehydration when hopelessly lost for several days. I had to learn these tricks on my own, and what worked for me might not work for others. That's why I avoid recommending such homespun remedies, even to the young eager beavers in Vermel's boy scout troop. Unfortunately, the Internet brings out every Tom, Dick, and Polonius who can't wait to dispense their advice du jour to the masses.

One such font of Net wisdom, Hotwired's guru of granola Dr. Andrew Weil, broke his contract to jump to Time Warner's Pathfinder site, as my esteemed colleagues reported on Friday. Thorough they were, but perhaps too polite to mention that Time magazine just happened to splash Dr. Weil on its cover the same week. Ain't it crazy how these things work out?

It's not the first time the news weekly has pimped the offerings of its parent company on its cover. Remember when Twister--the '90s special effects orgy, not the '70s plastic-tarp parlor-game orgy--hit the big screen? Ahem, as in Twister, the Warner Brothers film? Why, that same week Time ran a cover story on...surprise! Tornadoes! As for last week's Weil-y "coincidence," let's not pretend the Time editors were caught unawares--their company started negotiating with the gray-bearded doctor of optimism in January.

It seems that Microsoft officials were caught off-guard by clever reporters last week at the company's CEO Summit conference. One of our own was interviewing two Price-Waterhouse execs when an event organizer approached and abruptly cut the conversation short. When the reporter asked why she couldn't continue, the official called a security guard, who ordered our correspondent--all 4 feet, 10 inches of her--to stop accosting the Summit guests. "Do I look like I'm capable of accosting anyone?" she asked.

Meanwhile, a muckraker from ABC.com used one of the oldest tricks in the book to ask the normally dismissive Bill Gates a few questions. Catching him in the men's room, he waited until the billionaire couldn't move anywhere without sprinkling his shoes then sprung a few queries in his direction. Without looking over, of course. Maybe now Gates will be less willing to accuse his company of leaking information to the media.

Speaking of leaks, some jokester at Yahoo sneaked a little subversion into a beta mockup of the company's main chat page. Not meant for public consumption, the page nonetheless was open to anyone who could guess the URL. Before the company could pull the page down, we snapped a shot for all you voyeurs. Yahoo officials swear that the page looks nothing like the upcoming chat service interface.

And speaking of leeks, I was all set to install the Pentium Too in my stovetop operating system because I heard that MMX technology really cooked. Alas, all this talk of bugs has me grossed out. I think I'll wait for the Pentium Pesto. Remember, no matter what Dr. Weil says, sending me your rumors is an important part of your balanced breakfast.