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The most talked-about wedding of the summer is almost here (July 31st.) But where will Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mevzinsky take their honeymoon? And why is the post-wedding holiday called by that name?

The word derives from the Old English hony moone. Hony refers to the new marriage’s sweetness, as well a reference to the European custom of giving newlyweds enough mead, “an alcoholic liquor made by fermenting honey and water,” to last a month.  That would keep many a couple happy.

Moon refers to how long that sweetness might probably last, or from the changing aspect of the moon — from full to waning. In French the equivalent word is lune de miel. The German version is flitterwhochen, from flitter, which means “tinsel.” Not exactly the type of positive thinking a couples counselor would recommend, is it?

We can only imagine the celebrity line-up that will toast the new couple. But does toast, as in cooked bread, have anything to do with clinking glasses together? It actually does. Originally, a toast was raised to the health of a beautiful or popular woman. The notion was that her name would figuratively flavor or strengthen the drink. And drinks, way back, were actually flavored with spiced toast.

As for the ceremonious clinking of glasses, the custom is said to have evolved from fears of poisoning. The idea was that the liquid would spill from glass to glass. It is also believed that the roots of the custom are related to the offering of sacrificial libations to the gods.

Rumors are also flying in regards to the bride and groom’s wedding cake, a word that dates back to 1648. Wedding cake is also used to describe a style of architecture in which buildings have distinct tiers. The bride and groom figurines on top? Wedding cake toppers.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Clinton-Mevzinsky nuptials will be whether or not the couple has an interfaith wedding. If so, expect a post on the slew of terms that describe the mix of Jewish and Christian customs.

What aspects of Chelsea Clinton’s wedding are you most curious about? And if you have any questions about the origins or meaning of wedding terms, leave a comment.

The 10 best.(Tech Forum)(Best sellers)

Strategic Finance July 1, 2004 | Castelluccio, Michael * MAYBE IT’S A MEASURE of how we’ve all been conditioned to be competitive, but, whatever the reason, Americans love top-10 lists. There are the best-seller booklists in the weekend papers; TV shows and candidates are constantly monitored by pollsters; and there’s the Forbes “swimsuit” issue that lists the richest among us. We’ve made number one a national raison d’etre, as we pin ribbons on pigs, award Oscars to actors, and insist on repeating Vince Lombardi’s mantra to any youngster who will listen: “If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score?” Each year Wired magazine puts together its own top 40 list of companies that the editors believe “are masters of innovation, technology, and strategic vision.” The Wired 40 isn’t just a weighted list of bottom lines. The criteria for inclusion haven’t changed since 1998 and are explained in the June 2004 issue by Kevin Kelleher: “These 40 leaders have demonstrated an uncommon mastery of technology, innovation, globalism, networked communication, and strategic vision–skills essential to thriving in the information age.” The list is dynamic–you might even call it fickle. Of the 40 that made the list this year, 25% did not appear on last year’s list. Even more surprising, 40% of the top 10, almost half, are new this year. The list is also more eclectic than you might expect. Mixed in among the pure Internet and high-tech manufacturers are drug companies, car makers, banks, entertainment companies, and an agri-tech company.

And the Winners Are …

Odds are that you can probably guess a few of those in this year’s top 10. These would be the Internet legends–companies like Amazon, Yahoo!, and eBay. And you would be right because these companies are still doing enough of the right things to keep them at the top.

#2 Amazon.com And the beat goes on, as an early pioneer morphs from specialized retailer (books) to the Internet’s General Store. go to web site google gravity download

#3 Apple Computer This is a surprise. New to the list this year, this is Steve Jobs’s musical Apple, which has the leading iPod MP3 player and the iTunes Music Store. Some of the numbers that have lifted this Apple in a gravity-free launch: Five million iPods sold gives Apple 55% of the music player market; 60 million+ songs have been downloaded at iTunes, giving them a 70% lead in commercial downloads. Add in the rest of the Apple enterprise, and it makes for a nice-size pie.

#4 Genentech Genentech is a biotech company that works at a cellular level, manipulating cells and genes to produce medicines. Avastin, a treatment for colon cancer, was approved by the FDA this year, and the company is working on a number of other cancer treatments as well as other therapies based on genetic manipulation. Other biotech/medical companies that made the Wired 40 are Pfizer (28) and Gen-Probe (33), both new this year.

#5 eBay Of course. The editors point out that the $30 billion of goods that were sold on eBay last year “make the auctioneer the 81st-largest economy in the world.” Besides loving a winner, Americans, apparently, will never pass up a good garage sale.

#6 Samsung Electronics With new consumer electronics like MP3 players and digital cameras creating a strong market for flash cards, this South Korean manufacturer positioned itself to become “a leading innovator in consumer electronics worldwide.” Samsung is new to the Wired list this year.

#7 Yahoo! Dropping back four places from its number three position last year, Yahoo! is still America’s portal of choice. The editors’ count of Yahoo! users is 263 million.

#8 Electronic Arts When you think of a game maker finishing above other computer giants like IBM (13) and Intel (24), you have to remember Wired’s criteria and its forward-looking bent. After crediting Electronic Arts with leadership in interactive entertainment (read gaming, for now), the magazine proposes that the next interactive media might well include movies, music, and painting.

#9 Pixar Steve Jobs again, and this time with a movie company that earned $2.5 billion and 17 Academy Awards for its five feature films and several shorts. You probably remember Finding Nemo, and so does Disney, which recalls with regret its Pixar contract that Jobs refuses to renew. here google gravity download

#10 Cisco Systems Hubs and routers–what more do you need to say? Cisco owns most of the game, and it has climbed up one more place–up from 11 last year. Not bad for pretty boring hardware.

Precipitous Falls The ascending are interesting, but so are those that have, perhaps temporarily, fallen from grace. Two very big names that have lost their footing are FedEx and Microsoft. FedEx fell from 12 last year to 26 this year. The purple and orange is still delivering 5.3 million packages every day in 215 countries, but apparently for the editors some of the bloom is off the rose–or maybe more brown is back on the roads. An even bigger surprise is the Microsoft slide from eight last year to 27 this year. Wired offers three reasons for Redmond’s rung-burns: regulators and lawsuits here and abroad; the emerging success of Linux on servers and perhaps next, desktops; the large target still flapping on the corporation’s back, attracting virus writers worldwide. Some stinging advice is offered by the editors in a “To Do” item: “Given Microsoft’s long string of scrapes with antitrust cops, it’s time for the company to start competing on the merits of its products.” And so this year’s 40 should enjoy their moment in the sun, but they shouldn’t forget another reality expressed elsewhere on pages of the magazine–what’s wired will eventually get tired.

You can get the entire list at www. wired.com/wired/archive/12.06/ wired40.html, or check out the June 2004 issue of Wired at your library.

Castelluccio, Michael

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