The year is not getting off to a stellar beginning.

The board of directors of Saloncon announced a couple of days ago that there will not be a Saloncon in 2009. The board is not in a position to spend the money necessary to get it off the ground this year, unfortunately. Also, given the rising rate of unemployment this year (7.2% and climbing, as of December of 2008) and the generally sad state of the economy there is a high probability that many fewer people would be able to attend this year. They are working on throwing a charity event at Teaberrys instead but it isn't known if it'll come to fruition.

Damn. I was even going to submit a precis for a salon I wanted to run.

To satisfy the Law of Threes (begun last month with the death of Majel Barret Roddenberry), popular culture has lost two more iconic figures. On Tuesday, two time Emmy Award winning actor Patrick McGoohan passed away at the age of 80 following a short illness. McGoohan is best known for playing former secret agent Number Six on the cult classic television show The Prisoner.

By hook or by crook, Time got you, Patrick.

About a day later, it was announced that Ricardo Montalban also passed away at the age of 88. While he's best known for playing Mr. Roarke on the television show Fantasy Island, most of us recall his role as Khan Noonien Singn on Star Trek: the Original Series and Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan.


On top of all of this, New Scientist Magazine has released an article detailing the eleven most commonly encountered chemicals in the United States water supply. It's interesting that most of the compounds encountered either effect hormone levels in carbon based lifeforms, or act as hormone analogues. Among the compounds found in the water supply are Atenolol, which is a beta blocker used in the treatment of high blood pressure; Carbamazepine, which is used as an anticonvulsant, analgesic specific to trigeminal neurallgia, and mood stabilizer in certain doses; Estrone, which is an estrogen hormone used to ease the symptoms of meonpause. Rounding out the list is Meprobamate, which is used as an anti-convulsant, muscle relaxant, and sedative by turns.

It's said that you can learn a lot about someone from their trash. One supposes that you could learn just as much about someone by the drugs they take.