THE YEAR IN REVIEW: Time Waits for No One

The events of this year were like one of those black holes astronomers are always trying to make us comprehend: a force so very large and unfathomably dark it is capable of bending space and time.

The hours following the attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. were instantly sucked into oblivion. And as 2001 comes to a close, the gravity of that day makes it hard for most of us to remember anything of consequence that happened in the weeks before.

But the year 2001 — the first in the 21st century, according to millennium sticklers — did have...

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