Scientists Rank Top 100 Things Ever

Over the past several years every news event, no matter how triffling, has included the suffix "ofthecentury" in its title:

The Trialofthecentury
The Stormofthecentury
The Gubernatorial Electionofthecentury

How fortunate we are to live in the decade containing all the most important stories of the last hundred years. Take the 'Trial of the Century.' Somehow the news media determined that the murder trial of OJ Simpson was more important than Brown vs. the Board of Education, which outlawed segregation. More significant than Roe vs. Wade which legalized abortion. More influential than the Scopes 'Monkey' trial, which is why you learn evolution in school instead of creationism. These trials pale in significance to the long-term social and political impact of a man killing his ex-wife and going free because 'the glove didn't fit.'

And now that we are ignoring this week's Storms of the Century, all news events and promotions are including the word Millennium: The Television Movie Event of the Millennium! The Millennium-End Shoe Clearance! Before this decade the word millennium hadn't been used since 999 AD (the Jousting Event of the Millennium! The Millennium-End Quartering!) and all Star Wars children thought millennium was the name of a falcon with a faulty hyperdrive.

The end of the millennium (which won't occur until 2001 as any Cal Tech grad will remind you) is a natural time for us to look back at the past hundred or thousand years.   This year numerous book-based miniseries hosted by respectable news anchors satiated our need for nostalgia:  "The American Century" "The Century Remembered" and VH1's "1000 Kick-Ass Years of Rock with Richard Blade."  These programs brilliantly summed up the events of a hundred or a thousand years in an hour of easy-to-chew sound bites and film clips.  We digested them while installing Y2K compliant software on our computers and went to bed without heartburn.

When straight-forward nostalgia failed to captivate us, classification did.  The 100 Top Films, Greatest Movie Stars, Best Books, Biggest Naval Battles, and Loudest Grunge Bands ever.  It really didn't matter who compiled the list.  If it was in print in the newspaper the next morning, it was official.  The WORLD had chosen Citizen Kane, James Joyce, and Mariah Carey as number one.

The analog interpretation of history is over.  Anyone can sentimentalize.  It takes a scientist to rank incomparable entities on a scale of one to a hundred.

In this tradition we at Apathy International have amassed the world's greatest minds to bring you:

The Top 100 Things Ever