Alan Greenspan has announced that the recession is over. I suppose that, technically, he's correct, but somehow he's missing the point. Even if the economy's numbers are no longer tanking, we still live in the post-9/11 world, which takes some getting used to.

I've complained in print before about how every New York Times review of every show manages to drag 9/11 in, no matter how tenuous the connection. But it's also true that the aftershocks of that dreadful day are felt throughout the industry. For example, in this issue, Seth Jackson tells Sharon Stancavage how the Barry Manilow tour was changed by the terrorist attacks, with the addition of a patriotic sequence, complete with Kabuki-rigged American flags. In the next few months, you'll hear similar issues discussed in any number of stories. It's even come up in a piece I'm writing for Entertainment Design about the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

There are other political issues that concern us, too. I urge each and every one of you to check out our website (www.lightingdimensions.com) and read Michael Eddy's article, “The Mercury Mess.” This issue, about the proper disposal of mercury, which is found in certain lamps, is going to seriously affect the lighting industry in the next few years, and could raise havoc for everyone. Basically, various state governments are playing politics with the environment, coming up with solutions that are no solution at all, and threaten to harm this industry in the process. ESTA is leading the fight against this ill-considered legislation and there will be many more chapters in this story. Stay tuned.

And if you haven't been to our website lately, you should definitely check it out. There's plenty of fast-breaking news, always a few original stories, and lots more. We're now sending a weekly e-mail blast, Lighting Dimensions e*wire, to 10,000 readers, with the latest headlines, a quick profile of a new product, person, or project. If you'd like to be on the mailing list, go the website and fill out the subscription form. That way, you can be the first on your block to know what's going on.