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Secrets of Past Elections Revealed! (2000)

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After every presidential election since 1984, Newsweek has printed the best gossipy stories, revealing all the whining and backbiting of America's greatest spectacle. Linda Rodriguez has gone through Newsweek's archives to pick out some memorable moments from recent elections. Today's topic is the endless election of 2000.

The 2000 election "“ the one that saw George W. Bush follow in his father's footsteps "“ didn't come to an official conclusion until December 12, 2000. Of course, everyone remembers that. But here are a few things you might not have known about the election that wouldn't end.

Just kidding

On the night of the election, former vice president Al Gore called George Bush to concede the hard-fought race, after several television networks had declared Bush the winner. But after Bush's lead in Florida shrunk to a mere 500 votes, with 99.5 percent of the precincts reporting, Gore called him back "“ to withdraw his concession. According to Newsweek, the conversation was somewhat tense: "Circumstances have changed dramatically since I first called you," Gore said. "The state of Florida is too close to call."

Bush: "Are you saying what I think you're saying? Let me make sure that I understand. You're calling back to retract that concession!"

Gore: "Don't get snippy about it!"

Hush up, Nader

Gore aides were so frustrated with Ralph Nader, whose presence in the race some believe cost Gore the election, that every time he appeared on television election night, a staffer would mute his voice.

New Age finds a new home

Al Gore's single most important advisor for at least part of the 2000 campaign was New Age guru and consummate feminist Naomi Wolf. Introduced to her through his daughter, Gore took Wolf's word as gospel. Wolf, for her part, told Gore that Americans felt betrayed by President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky and were ashamed that they had voted for him. Gore, influenced by Wolf, then told staffers that he was paying a "psychic penalty" for Clinton's indiscretions. For that tenuous bit of psychobabble, as well as advice on how to become the "alpha male" in the country, the campaign paid Wolf around $15,000 a month.

Keeping the Gore campaign afloat

Gore's image suffered from his limp television presence, his somewhat dull demeanor, and his seeming inability to make voters realize that he really cared about becoming the—that it wasn't simply the next rung on his career ladder. The Gore campaign's ham-fisted attempts to personalize the candidate weren't helping matters. In the run up to the New Hampshire primary, for example, the campaign organized a photo-op canoe trip on the state's Connecticut River. Unfortunately, they had two problems: The first was that the candidate couldn't seem to relax in the canoe. The second was that the press later found out that Gore's boat was floated by millions of gallons of water pumped in the river just for that purpose, in order to avoid any awkward moments and stuck canoes.

Sweating to the oldies?

According to Newsweek, Gore sweats. A lot. Like, more than the average human. Like so much that during debates with Bush, he demanded that the temperature in the hall be kept as low as possible. Bush, entering the debate hall one night, joked, "Who's got my parka?"

Bush on Oprah

It was Laura Bush who convinced George Bush to go on Oprah, a move that she thought would help the then-candidate show the American people the personable, funny person he was. It worked, and stalled a popularity nosedive in the polls. His appearance on Oprah—kissing the cheek of the most powerful woman in America "“ led to appearances on Regis, on Leno, and later on MSNBC to chat with Brian Williams.

Previously: 1988, 1984, 1992, 1996

Google Street View Now Lets You Explore the International Space Station

Google Street View covers some amazing locations (Antarctica, the Grand Canyon, and Stonehenge, to name a few), but it’s taken until now for the tool to venture into the final frontier. As TechCrunch reports, you can now use Street View to explore the inside of the International Space Station.

The scenes, photographed by astronauts living on the ISS, include all 15 modules of the massive satellite. Viewers will be treated to true 360-degree views of the rooms and equipment onboard. Through the windows, you can see Earth from an astronaut's perspective and a SpaceX Dragon craft delivering supplies to the crew.

Because the imagery was captured in zero gravity, it’s easy to lose sense of your bearings. Get a taste of what ISS residents experience on a daily basis here.

[h/t TechCrunch]

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Lucy Quintanilla/iStock
6 East Coast Castles to Visit for a Fairy Tale Road Trip
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Lucy Quintanilla/iStock

Once the stuff of fairy tales and legends, a variety of former castles have been repurposed today as museums and event spaces. Enough of them dot the East Coast that you can plan a summer road trip to visit half a dozen in a week or two, starting in or near New York City. See our turrent-rich itinerary below.


59 miles from New York City

The crumbling exterior of Bannerman Castle
Garrett Ziegler, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Bannerman Castle can be found on its very own island in the Hudson River. Although the castle has fallen into ruins, the crumbling shell adds visual interest to the stunning Hudson Highlands views, and can be visited via walking or boat tours from May to October. The man who built the castle, Scottish immigrant Frank Bannerman, accumulated a fortune shortly after the Civil War in his Brooklyn store known as Bannerman’s. He eventually built the Scottish-style castle as both a residence and a military weapons storehouse starting in 1901. The island remained in his family until 1967, when it was given to the Taconic Park Commission; two years later it was partially destroyed by a mysterious fire, which led to its ruined appearance.


116 miles from Beacon, New York

William Gillette was an actor best known for playing Sherlock Holmes, which may have something to do with where he got the idea to install a series of hidden mirrors in his castle, using them to watch guests coming and going. The unusual-looking stone structure was built starting in 1914 on a chain of hills known as the Seven Sisters. Gillette designed many of the castle’s interior features (which feature a secret room), and also installed a railroad on the property so he could take his guests for rides. When he died in 1937 without designating any heirs, his will forbade the possession of his home by any "blithering sap-head who has no conception of where he is or with what surrounded.” The castle is now managed by the State of Connecticut as Gillette Castle State Park.


74 miles from East Haddam, Connecticut

The exterior of Belcourt castle
Jenna Rose Robbins, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Prominent architect Richard Morris Hunt designed Belcourt Castle for congressman and socialite Oliver Belmont in 1891. Hunt was known for his ornate style, having designed the facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island, but Belmont had some unusual requests. He was less interested in a building that would entertain people and more in one that would allow him to spend time with his horses—the entire first floor was designed around a carriage room and stables. Despite its grand scale, there was only one bedroom. Construction cost $3.2 million in 1894, a figure of approximately $80 million today. But around the time it was finished, Belmont was hospitalized following a mugging. It took an entire year before he saw his completed mansion.


111 miles from Newport, Rhode Island

Part of the exterior of Hammond castle
Robert Linsdell, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0

Inventor John Hays Hammond Jr. built his medieval-style castle between 1926 and 1929 as both his home and a showcase for his historical artifacts. But Hammond was not only interested in recreating visions of the past; he also helped shape the future. The castle was home to the Hammond Research Corporation, from which Hammond produced over 400 patents and came up with the ideas for over 800 inventions, including remote control via radio waves—which earned him the title "the Father of Remote Control." Visitors can take a self-guided tour of many of the castle’s rooms, including the great hall, indoor courtyard, Renaissance dining room, guest bedrooms, inventions exhibit room, library, and kitchens.


430 miles from Gloucester, Massachusetts

It's a long drive from Gloucester and only accessible by water, but it's worth it. The German-style castle on Heart Island was built in 1900 by millionaire hotel magnate George C. Boldt, who created the extravagant structure as a summer dream home for his wife Louise. Sadly, she passed away just months before the place was completed. The heartbroken Boldt stopped construction, leaving the property empty for over 70 years. It's now in the midst of an extensive renovation, but the ballroom, library, and several bedrooms have been recreated, and the gardens feature thousands of plants.


327 miles from Alexandria Bay, New York

Part of the exterior of Fonthill castle

In the mood for more castles? Head south to Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where Fonthill Castle was the home of the early 20th century American archeologist, anthropologist, and antiquarian Henry Chapman Mercer. Mercer was a man of many interests, including paleontology, tile-making, and architecture, and his interest in the latter led him to design Fonthill Castle as a place to display his colorful tile and print collection. The inspired home is notable for its Medieval, Gothic, and Byzantine architectural styles, and with 44 rooms, there's plenty of well-decorated nooks and crannies to explore.


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