May 11, 1997: Deep Blue

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(Pictured: Garry Kasparov makes a move against computer opponent Deep Blue.)

May 11, 1997, was a Sunday.  It is Mother’s Day. Rain is forecast for the Northeast and Midwest, but the southern United States and Pacific Coast are mostly dry. Headlines on the Sunday papers include an earthquake in Iran that killed 2,000 people; more legal wrangling over the Whitewater real estate scandal involving Bill and Hillary Clinton; the agreement between NBC and the cast of Seinfeld to continue the top-rated show; and the ongoing match between Russian world chess champion Garry Kasparov and IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer, which is tied going into today’s final match. Today, Deep Blue wins.

At Radio Shack, you can get a new IBM Aptiva home computer with 3.1GB of memory, 16MB of RAM, a fast 33.6Kbps modem with fax, and a 166Mhz Pentium processor for $1999. If you’re in the market for a car, the Cherry Burrell Employees Credit Union of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is offering a 7.4 percent/60-month auto loan for 1996 or 1997 models, with higher rates and shorter terms for older models.

In the NBA, the Chicago Bulls, going for their fifth title in seven years, take a 3-1 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series with an 89-80 win over the Hawks in Atlanta. Also today, the New York Knicks go up 2-1 on Miami with a 77-73 win. In the Western Conference semifinals, the Houston Rockets beat the Seattle SuperSonics 110-106 in overtime and lead 3-1. The other Western semifinal has the day off; the Utah Jazz lead the Los Angeles Lakers three games to one. Game five is tomorrow night in Salt Lake City. In the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, three series are decided today: the New York Rangers, Philadelphia, and Edmonton join Detroit in the conference finals. The Red Wings swept their semifinal series over Anaheim last week; game two of the series went 91 seconds into the third overtime before the Red Wings won it, five hours and 40 minutes after the game began. In Major League Baseball, the best record belongs to the Atlanta Braves, who beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-2 today.

Two new movies top the box office this weekend: The Fifth Element, a science-fiction thriller starring Bruce Willis, and Father’s Day, a comedy starring Robin Williams and Billy Crystal. Other top movies include Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. On TV tonight, CBS wins the night with part 1 of The Last Don, a miniseries based on the novel by Godfather author Mario Puzo, which stars Danny Aiello and Joe Mantegna. ABC airs the first episode of its own novel-based miniseries tonight, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. NBC Sunday Night at the Movies presents the theatrical release Timecop. Fox presents its regular Sunday-night lineup, which includes The Simpsons, King of the Hill, and The X-Files. Shows on the WB tonight include The Parent ‘Hood, The Steve Harvey Show, and The Jamie Foxx Show.

On this week’s Billboard Hot 100, “Hypnotize” by Notorious B. I. G. is #1 again this week, two months after Biggie’s death in a drive-by shooting. “You Were Meant for Me” by Jewel is #2. “Mmm Bop” by Hanson makes a big leap to #6 from #16. “Wannabe,” the first hit by the Spice Girls, is down to #10 from #6. Only three songs are new in the Top 40 this week: “G.H.E.T.T.O.U.T” by Changing Faces makes its Hot 100 debut at #28; “Don’t Wanna Be a Player” by Joe is at #34, and “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks debuts in the 40 at #37. Michael Jackson’s new song, “Blood on the Dance Floor,” makes its Hot 100 debut at #42. The #1 spot on the Billboard 200 album chart belongs to Share My World by Mary J. Blige. The #1 adult contemporary song is “For the First Time” by Kenny Loggins; #1 country is “One Night at a Time” by George Strait.

Perspective From the Present: I finished my teacher-ed program at the University of Iowa during the previous week, although I would take one additional course during the summer while hunting for a job. The lone offer I received was from a Catholic school in Illinois where I would have made as much money as I did on my last radio job. A couple of weeks later, I was offered a job by an educational publishing firm, which I took. I regret, a little bit, that I never taught beyond my student-teacher semester to see if I could do it without a net. But going into publishing was the right choice, and I’ve never regretted that.

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