washingtonpost.com
The TomKat Wedding
Bracciano, Italy Besieged by Paparazzi

Liz Kelly
Celebritology Blogger
Monday, November 20, 2006 12:00 PM

The wedding of the year took place on Saturday when actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes exchanged vows in Italy. How did the ceremony unfold? Who was there? What did they wear? And, most importantly, what do you think?

Photo Gallery and Video ( AP, Nov. 20).

Washingtonpost.com Celebritology blogger Liz Kelly was online Monday, Nov. 20, at Noon ET to take your questions and comments on the TomKat wedding.

A transcript follows.

(For Weingarten fans...)

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Liz Kelly: It's Thanksgiving week and I for one want to give thanks to everyone for joining me today to talk about a matter of great import: how in the hell "Happy Feet" beat "Casino Royale" at the box office.
I kid. Seriously, the next hour will be devoted exclusively to Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and the spectacle that was their Saturday wedding in Rome -- fireworks, celebrities, a cake that reportedly spewed rose petals (eww). And for more on the publicity-friendly wedding make sure to go back and read David Segal's excellent article from yesterday's Style section.
Still, if anyone can explain to me how a penguin beat down Daniel Craig in a Speedo, I gotta know.

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Arlington, Va.: Katie's dress did not look very pretty to me. Of course, the only pictures I have seen are her smooshed up against Tom. But the front looks itchy with that piece of lace sticking up at her neck. But, maybe the real question is WHY DO I CARE?!

Any "frontal" pictures of the dress?

Liz Kelly: We haven't seen any fronal pix of the dress yet. Word is the couple have sold first rights to the photos and will donate the money to a charity of their choice. So far, we'll have to make do with the one officially-released photo (at the top of this page).
As a friend put it this morning, "You get Giorgio Armani to make your wedding dress and that is what he comes up with?" I have to agree. At least from this angle, the dress doesn't look much different from something Katie could've found on the rack at Macy's. Okay, maybe Neiman's. But on sale at Neiman's.

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Washington, D.C.: Who were the best man and maid of honor?

Liz Kelly: Good question. The matron of honor was Katie's sister, Nancy Blaylock, and the best man was Cruise's good friend David Miscavige, who happens to be the head of the Church of Scientology.
According to one gossip site I was checking out this morning, a Scientology advisor was seated at each table at reception -- apparently to explain the ceremony to non-Scientologists. Big fun.

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Washington, D.C.: Is Katie taller than Tom?

Are you?

Liz Kelly: Yes, she is and no, I am not. I am somewhat of a smidget.

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Re: The people of Lake Bracciano: ... who are getting all huffy that the Cruises weren't more public -- sure, it was rude. But this whole "wah wah, we waived the castle fee and bought new garbage cans and paved and we didn't even get a wave or a thank you" -- PLEASE. Who told them to be so star-struck (a far more vulgar term comes to mind) that they'd waive the fee and do all that other stuff? It's not like being accommodating is any guarantee of anything. Besides, I bet the town made plenty off of this.

Liz Kelly: The town definitely made out here. Residents reportedly charged paparazzi for prime hilltop sites with a good view of the castle and as another site pointed out this morning, the town will probably see a big uptick from copycat couples wanting to marry in the same place.
Still, a little wave would've been nice.

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Brooke Shields?: Did I miss something? Granted, I don't pay all that much attention, but last I heard, Brooke Shields and Tom Cruise were in the middle of a nasty public fight over his comments and beliefs about psychiatry and medications and her use of medications to treat post-partum depression. Now I see that Brooke was a guest at his wedding. Did they have some reconciliation that I'm not aware of?

Liz Kelly: Tom made a big apology to Brooke over the summer and after that she and Katie apparently became close friends. So, in a master stroke of positive publicity for both Cruise and Shields, she was at the wedding.

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Rockville, Md.: "Still, if anyone can explain to me how a penguin beat down Daniel Craig in a Speedo, I gotta know."

You know he does look good. However when I go to a film these days, I mostly want to laugh. Our national mood does not favor people who solve problems by shooting them. And it is a film that has been done before. I expect he will be a good Bond and better than two of the others.

Liz Kelly: True -- "Casino Royale" has been done before. But not like this. The movie really strays from the Bond formula, to marvelous results.

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Rockville, Md.: I hear from my wife that Oprah was not invited because she turned on Tom after the romp on the sofa. What are the chances for a resolution?

Liz Kelly: Did everyone see TMZ.com's scan of the latest cover of "O" magazine, that included the blurb "What to do if someone hears you didn't invite them?"
Also, watching the View this morning Barbara Walters let it be known that she was miffed about being left off the guest list despite a previous promise from Cruise himself that she would be there.

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Bethesda, Md. : Hi Liz,

I'm posting early because of a meeting around 12:00 today. Loved your blog -- it takes a lot to make me laugh pre-coffee. Although I've had it up to here with TomKat, this whole thing was such a freak show, I couldn't help but be curious about the wedding. One big question: Is that true about Scientology wedding ceremonies require a pan, a comb and a cat? That is TOO WEIRD! What is the loony "significance" of that in a wedding?

Liz Kelly: There are a few different versions of the Scientology wedding vows -- one of which does include a reference to giving the bride a comb, a pan and a cat. All were written church founder L. Ron Hubbard himself. I'm not sure if there's a deeper significance, but taken in the context of the rest of the vows, the "comb, pan and cat" seem to refer to domesticated things needed by the "girl" (that's right, the bride is referred to as "girl"). Meanwhile, the bride pledges to kiss and caress only her groom.
Glad you enjoy the blog, by the way. So do I!

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Dupont, Washington, D.C.: I've been a fan of Katie's ever since she was Joey Potter, but to be as petty as possible: What's up with her hair? The back looks cute, with curls or something, but the front, with little wispy hairs that make it look like a weird quasi-pixie cut? Not so hot!

Liz Kelly: Personally, I thought her hair looked fine, but I'm seeing a lot of comments from folks who agree with you.

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Falls Church, Va.: Did they have a sign-up sheet on sight so that guests could request more information about Scientology?

Liz Kelly: An advisor at every table does make it seem like a recruitment event, doesn't it?

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Laurel, Md.: Liz, What's your guess on how long this marriage will last? Considering Tom's track record, I'm guessing it won't be "til death do us part" or whatever they say for Scientology vows.

Liz Kelly: We can't really handicap celebrity weddings. Who could've predicted that Warren Beatty and Annette Bening would still be together after all these years while seemingly solid couples like Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe are breaking up.
And, even closer to TomKat's heart, one need only look to Nicole Kidman -- who is solo right now in the first months of marriage to Keith Urban while he's rehabbing -- to see how unpredictable life can be.
One thing we do know is that despite rumors of a rift between Katie's family and Cruise, Katie and Tom do present a united front. So united, in fact, that we barely hear a peep out of Katie. Also, Tom Cruise is a man whose every move is calculated. He would not knowingly choose a bride who would adversely affect his image.

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Washington, D.C.: When I saw the "Under the Sea Prom 1998" photo, I was all ready to mock the celebrities with the best of 'em.

But then I perused the album. There were two pictures of Katie looking out windows that almost made me cry. Seriously, I teared up for this spoiled little celebrity incubator, seeing that panicked look on her face in the photo with the "unidentified woman". She looks like she's having a total meltdown, the kind where you wave your hands in front of your face and babble nonsense.

And of course, the one where she's holding the baby like her life depends on it ... which it probably does ...

Poor gal.

washingtonpost.com: Photo Gallery

Liz Kelly: No comment except to say that we should be wary of judging Katie's mindframe based on a few snapshots. She may have just been caught at an awkward moment.

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Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: Do you think they got married in Italy because Tom is more popular there than in the USA? I used to live in Italy, and at that time, Sylvester Stallone was still a big hit, long after he was a joke in the US.

Is it one of those Jerry Lewis/France things?

Liz Kelly: I doubt it. I think they got married in Italy, the home of the paparazzo, for a few reasons -- Katie wanted a fairy tale wedding. Remember that although this is Tom's third, it is her first, so she'd want it to be memorable. Maybe that's why the cake reportedly erupted with rose petals when they cut it. That's memorable. As are $100,000 worth of fireworks.
And if they were marrying there for the love of the fans, you'd think they would've at least greeted the crowds of onlookers, as mentioned above.
And what's this about Sly Stallone being washed up here? You know he's got a new movie coming out in a few weeks.

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Rockville, Md.: Most don't know Tom has a BMI (body mass index) of over 30. Not because he is fat, but because he is short. More trivia. But it makes the BMI look very suspect.

Liz Kelly: Thanks for this factoid.

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Washington, D.C.: Can you clarify the "oh, by the way" statements that I've read about their wedding being official in Los Angeles. Did they get married at City Hall to make it legal and this was just a big movie production?

BTW, is Gene producing your chat?

Liz Kelly: You'd think that Gene could produce the chat given the years I've slaved away producing his. Instead, he's out there somewhere bothering today's producer, Rocci Fisch, with unprintable questions.
An official statement from TomKat's rep said the two "officially legalized" their wedding in California before departing for Italy. Italy doesn't recognize Scientology weddings. Also, I don't think the Catholic church (Katie grew up Catholic) would look too kindly on Tom's two previous marriages.

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Falls Church, Va.: You know, if you are TomKat, and you have 1000 invitees -- that's really only 500 invitations -- because you KNOW everyone will bring a guest! So that's 250 for Tom and 250 for Katie. Not really that much when you think about their lives -- friends, family, coworkers etc. ... as far as Oprah playing is cool -- I am diggin' that. So he jumped on her couch. Does that make her his best friend? Don't think so.

Liz Kelly: Not his best friend, no, but Oprah gives her couch sparingly because it has the power to mend reputations and careers. It was worth at least an invite.

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Arlington, Va.: Liz, I'm so excited you're hosting a chat that I'm going to ask a really bad question. If anyone can answer it, though, it's you. Why do I feel like I'm about to vomit when I look at TomKat's wedding pictures? Why, the morning news started flashing pictures of them kissing during the ceremony, did I have to leap off my treadmill and trip over the cord in my frenzy to change the channel? This revulsion ... it feels so visceral ... and usually I like to like celebrities. Where does it come from?

Liz Kelly: I think we all know.

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TomKat Rhy, ME: You thought you could escape them on a

Monday, but there's no stopping the double

dactyls -- this one a TomKat tribute:

Higgledy Piggledy

Scientologist Tom

Jumped on a couch

Spilling his guts

But renting a castle

For a Katie

Faux-matrimonial

Proved he is nuts.

By the way, why no poop-related questions thus

far? Priorities, Chatwoman ...

Liz Kelly: Thanks. Gene will be so jealous.
I was messaging with Gene on Friday about the wedding and he was pretending he didn't know who Tom and Katie are. I think he was drunk.

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Fairfax, Va.: How will the public know if Tom and Katie are legally married?

Liz Kelly: I'm sure we'll be fed a leaked marriage license when the time is deemed correct. Keep your eyes on TMZ.com and TheSmokingGun.com.

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Alexandria, Va.: What impact does the wedding have on the Redskins?

Liz Kelly: Seriously, can we get some supernatural Scientology love for the Skins? No pix yet of Daniel Snyder at Saturday's wedding, by the way.

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Bowie, Md.: Any news on what was the price tag of this wedding?

Liz Kelly: One British site is reporting 5.3 million pounds. Anyone out there able to do a quick conversion?

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Weingarten ...: They are not unprintable. They are merely eccentric and provocative.

Liz Kelly: Ohhhh, right.

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Washington, D.C.: Was Nicole Kidman or Mimi Rogers invited? I thought Nicole and Tom remained close despite the divorce.

Liz Kelly: I don't know if they were invited, but I know Nicole did send her best wishes to the bride and groom. Remember, Nicole's kind of going through her own thing right now.

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Alexandria, Va.: I'd love to see "Casino Royale." Daniel Craig has been growing on me since he was first announced as being the new 007. However, I have a 6-yr-old and 3-yr-old, and it's much easier for me to take them to see "Happy Feet" than find a sitter so my husband and I can see 007.

Liz Kelly: I hear ya.

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Waterford, Conn.: Two flamboyant celebs get married flamboyantly.

Why does that energize a significant portion of the population to condemn them? What's wrong with live-and-let-live? What is [it]about this wedding that gets people mad?

Liz Kelly: I wouldn't necessarily say that the general reaction is "mad" so much as skeptical.
And the skepticism has nothing to do with the fact that this is Tom's third trip down the aisle, but everything to do with the unusual, and very public, courtship these two have engaged in over the past two years.
They were engaged in June 2005 after only two months of dating and we learned Katie was pregnant only two months after that. I think even Carolyn Hax would tell you that is pretty quick. Then we have to factor in the whole couch-jumping incident, the mystery surrounding Suri's birth, the Scientology thing and the fact that Tom Cruise has turned off a lot of people over the last two years.
So I think the attitude is more wait-and-see-what-they'll-do-next than mad.

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Chapel Hill, N.C.: Hello Liz!

Your blog is my daily fix. Are you going to enlighten us on how Tom magically became taller than Katie in their official wedding photo?

Also, some of my friends who have been pregnant have told me your hair sometimes falls out then grows back in little tufts. Could be the cause of those inexplicable bang/non-bang things on Katie's head.

BTW, I thought her hair looked awful in that publicity shot -- straggly in back. She has the potential to look so much better.

Any word on how come Holmes's parents are suddenly with the program?

Liz Kelly: Thanks. Again, I think Katie's kneeling a little bit under that big pouffy dress, making Tom appear taller. Which is just ridiculous since we all know he's visibly shorter than her.
As for Holmes's parents -- Cruise maintains that he's always had a good relationship with her family, despite rumors of their grave concern over Katie's choice. Still, in the end, I'm sure they wanted to be there for their daughter. They are, by all accounts, a very close family.

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" I teared up for this spoiled little celebrity incubator, seeing that panicked look on her face in the photo with the "unidentified woman". She looks like she's having a total meltdown": Yeah, cuz Katie's the only woman who ever felt stressed on her wedding day, much less while a bazillion paparatzi stalk you.

Liz Kelly: Thank you.

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Silver Spring, Md.: About the panicky-looking picture of Katie in the castle window -- I actually read that as, "ack, I'm trying to have my fairy tale wedding and there's all these people with cameras and stepladders out there!" For which she has no one to blame but herself and her crazy husband, but still, that seems like an entirely reasonable explanation for the expression.

Or maybe they just caught her mid-sneeze.

Liz Kelly: Another perspective.

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Omaha, Neb.: As hungry as I am for post wedding details (roses out of the cake? Are you serious? I cannot even begin to imagine a scenario where anything exploding out of a cake was classy?) I am really really excited that it's all freakin' over. Hopefully we won't have to hear a peep out of this fiasco until the tabloids start reporting rumors of "trouble in Tom-land." Okay, got that off my chest. Were any of the Dawnsons crowd present? It just seems mighty strange that Katie's "nearest and dearest" are all people she's met in the last 12 months or so. (I mean really, since when does Will Smith pal around with either of them?)

Liz Kelly: Good question. As far as I can determine, there weren't any Dawson alums at the ceremony, though with a guest list in the hundreds, we're missing someone, no doubt.
We do know that the Beckhams (David and Victoria), John Travolta and Kelly Preston, Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy, J.Lo and Marc Anthony and Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith were on hand.

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That would feed a lot of starving orphans: 5,300,000 GBP = 10,053,210.30 USD

Liz Kelly: Oh man, there's no way they spent that much. Is there?

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Washington, D.C.: Just before I left for the movie theater to see "Casino Royale," I read a negative review of it in Time magazine. So I already had misgivings. Then, when I got there, "CR" was sold out. Thirty minutes early! Sold out! So I saw "Happy Feet." And the theater that the 9 p.m. showing of "H"F was in was he-yooge, and full.

Liz Kelly: So you're saying it's a conspiracy?

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Weingarten: My god that double dactyl was terrible.

Higgledy Piggledy
TomKat the Horrible
Hitched in a manner that's
Awfully weird.

Raising a question most
Heterodoxical:
Is this a picture called:
"Man With a Beard?"

Liz Kelly: HA.


I mean, that's awful. You should be ashamed, Gene.

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Hoollywood, Calif.: Darling :

Does this mean Katie will be making movies again or is Tom planning to appear in spaghetti westerns? Seriously, is Katie "retired" from acting ??

Liz Kelly: Tom is already busy trying to nail down his next project and, of course, he's now got a studio to run.
As for Katie, I haven't heard any murmers about her returning to work and her IMDB page hasn't been updated since "Thank You for Smoking" in 2005.

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Washington, D.C.: Maybe Katie's bad hair (and yes, for someone who can afford any number of smoke and mirrors to look perfect, it's bad hair) is because she ditched her regular stylist (Oscar Blandi) for Jessica Simpson's buddy Ken Paves. We've all seen the monstrosities Jessica's had ... not sure why Katie chose him for this occasion.

Liz Kelly: Yep, good point.

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Columbia, Md.: Were there any anti-Scientology protests in the vicinity of the wedding?

Liz Kelly: The only protest I've heard about was done solely by Bracciano's Catholic priest, who rung his church bells "louder and longer" to protest what he considered a Godless wedding.

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Legally: I don't know about Italy, but in France, you can only get married if one of the couple is an official resident of the administrative district in whose city hall the ceremony is performed. There are always special dispensations, but they're rare, and for this reason, the French aren't so big on destination weddings. Legally, you have to get married at home.

So even if Tom hadn't been divorced twice, and even if they weren't trying to have a Scientology wedding, I'd be surprised if an Italian officiant could legally marry them.

By the way, is a Scientology ceremony valid in the U.S.? I guess it must be ... the guy who married us was an Internet minister.

Liz Kelly: Scientology is a recognized religion in the U.S., I believe, accorded all the rights and recognitions of any other religion.

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Danny S.: So how did Danny Snyder keep track of his team? Does Italy have ESPN?

Liz Kelly: Actually, Snyder rushed back from the wedding to attend the game.

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Castle -- rook takes pawn: Did anybody dangle a baby over a parapet?

Liz Kelly: No, dammit. Which means no Internet game. We have to make do with maybe a maze-like game of Jim Carrey getting lost in Bracciano on his way to the ceremony. Maybe a Pac-man like feel to it?

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Arlington, Va.: Are TomKat really friends with all their guests, or did they use this as a chance to meet other famous celebs (the Beckhams, etc.)?

Liz Kelly: I think they are indeed friendly with all the celebs in attendance. Katie and Victoria recently spent time together in Paris attending fashion week and shopping.

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Los Angeles, Calif.: It's clear that Tom Cruise is no longer an actor. He's a publicity spectacle like Michael Jackson (no longer a singer) and Anna Nicole Smith (no longer either a stripper or a fashion model)

How long to you give this thing? Already it's lasted past Britney Spears's first marriage (some were betting it might not make it that far.) Do you think Katie will bail after six months? A year?

Why should we care?

Liz Kelly: Ugh. I hate this question. It is so hard to predict the shelf life of a celebrity marriage. Still, I have a feeling this one may last -- at least for a while.

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Washington, D.C.: There are surely some catty and jealous women out there, complaining about Katie's dress and hair. In all fairness though, there was a downpour during her wedding, which means the air was very humid and bad for her hair.

Liz Kelly: Wow, this defense has reached a new level of detail. True enough about the rain, though I think it was more of a problem for the hordes of fans waiting outside for a glimpse of the couple, only to be disappointed. Damp and disappointed.

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Boston, Mass.: Hi Liz!

Okay, besides the fact that they got married, handmade Armani clothes, etc., I thought baby Suri actually looked adorable in all of those pictures ...

ps. So my friends and I decided to only pay for one movie Saturday night (we're in college, okay?) and we paid for "Happy Feet"(funny, but not the best). After that movie was over, we snuck into "007" which was out of this world. Having grown up with Pierce Brosnan as my Bond, I have to say I am utterly enamored of Daniel Craig! Hot!Hot!Hot!

Liz Kelly: Yes, I still think Suri is one of the most adorable babies ever and I'm not one of those chicks that coos and oohs over babies. The kid isn't even a year old and she has a hair style, a little mod hairstyle. Is it wrong to covet the hairstyle of an infant?
Not since a young Sean Connery have we seen a Bond with muscle tone. Also, Eva Green was very cool as the thinking man's Bond babe.

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Reston, Va.: So what kind of satellite reception do you think Posh got with her hat? Also, why no John Travolta and Kristie Alley but Jenna Elfman?

Liz Kelly: Ya know, I think Travolta was there. Ahead of the wedding there were reports that he was going to ferry the Hollywood set there in his private jet. Maybe we just haven't seen any pics of him yet.

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Fairfax, Va.: Having had a baby myself right around the time Suri was born, I can attest that new mothers can lose quite a bit of hair, usually starting when the baby is around four months old. Mine is just now growing back, and looks a lot like Katie's little "tufts" in that one particular photo. There's nothing you can do about it!

Liz Kelly: Thanks for sharing.

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Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C. - Is it true?: I tend not to follow peoples' religious beliefs, until I thought I read a blurb that Cruise's Scientology religion was "created" from scratch by a science fiction author and involves aliens flying to Earth in Boeing-esque space cruisers.

I was also well into a holiday party at the time, so please tell me I misread that.

Liz Kelly: Oh my, you need to do a Google search on the words "Scientology Richard Leiby Washington Post" and do some catching up.

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Van Ness D.C. cubicle: Did Tomkat adopt an Italian orphan?

Liz Kelly: Hahaha, no -- but they're now honeymooning in the Maldives. Perhaps they'll find a kid there.

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TomKat's religion: Actually, Liz, Cruise was also raised Catholic, but he's been a Hubbardite for awhile now. What is the pool on Katie converting to (obviously) the One True Faith? I say less than six months.

Liz Kelly: Katie has already been taking Scientology classes and apparently has her own private church handler. If she hasn't already converted, I'm sure it won't be long. Though, the church of Scientology likes to point out that they do not bar their members from still participating in other religions. So, theoretically, one could be a Catholic and a Scientologist.

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Chicago, Ill.: Okay Liz,

The wedding is over and we accepted the fact that they wanted a "fairy tale" wedding in Italy. But can you please explain to me why these two chose that strange location for a honeymoon? Geez, these two are afraid of their own shadows let alone humans.

Liz Kelly: I don't know that the Maldives is such a strange location. It's a tourist destination though it was devasted in the 2004 tsunami. I think it's kind of cool, actually, that they're raising awareness of that area -- that it still exists and is open for business.

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Alexandria, Va.: Hi Liz,

I 100 percent agree with you that Katie's kneeling down a bit. You can see the bend of her front leg. Ridiculous that she's doing so though.

Suri looked gorgeous in the one video I saw of her. Where are the photos of Isabella and Connor?

Liz Kelly: I saw some photos of Isabella and Connor this morning. If we don't have them in our gallery, we'll add em.
In the meantime, check out the outfit Posh wore the night before the wedding. I think it may be worse than the actual wedding ensemble.

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Maryland: Why do we care? I haven't come up with a good answer for this, yet I checked the photo gallery this morning wondering what her dress looked like. I can't help but think we are all a touch pathetic for caring.

Liz Kelly: We're not pathetic, just curious. Nothing wrong with that. It's fluff and sometimes we need fluff to buffer things like war or a stressful election season. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

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Suri: Can we pause for a minute and just say how totally cute Suri looked the other day. Awwww ... bella bambina ...

Liz Kelly: Si, molto bella. Grazie tante!

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Maldives: What about Ocean City, Md.? They could use some PR in the offseason.

Liz Kelly: I just laughed out loud picturing Tom and Katie heading out of the Holiday Inn for crab cakes at Hooters.

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Maldives for honeymoon: Sounds like some people have never even heard of Maldives. People can be so ignorant. It's a beautiful, beautiful island in the Indian ocean. We were there couple of years back. It's paradise.

It makes sense that Cruise wanted to go somewhere not so over- used like Fiji or Tahiti or some such place.

Liz Kelly: I, on the otherhand, would be fine with overused places like Tahiti or Fiji.

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Liz Kelly: Whoops, time's up. I really had fun doing this. Thanks to all for the questions. Check out more about TomKat on Celebritology

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