By the time you're reading this, our nation will have decided on its next president. More importantly, however, ETS-LDI2004 will be over, and we'll all be home, safe and sound, basking in the afterglow of new product discoveries and industry news…or is that just a hangover? That was a trick question. Get your priorities straight, would you?

And while I'm sure you spent most of your time in Las Vegas participating in rich political discourse with your fellow professionals, I hope you had time to discover a gem or two at the show — that new piece of gear that meets your highest standards in creative and technical excellence or, at least, something you found somewhat useful. Next month, you'll see tons of this new gear in our Entertainment Technology New Products Guide, featuring products from exhibitors at ETS-LDI, as well as other innovative offerings from around the globe.

The recurring theme on the tradeshow circuit, of course, has been the proliferation of LEDs — it's absolutely dizzying, not unlike the tradeshow experience itself, so we couldn't let another issue go by without compiling a sampling of LED products (pg. 16) available worldwide.

Speaking of themes, this issue is focused on themed entertainment, and between our cover story on Universal's new Van Helsing attraction and Disney Tokyo's new nighttime water spectacular, BraviSEAmo!, you can decide who's theme is more entertaining: the mouse or the undead. Either way, there's a lot going on in themed entertainment. The variations are as numerous as the possibilities and growing as quickly as LEDs, if that's possible.

We also pay special tribute to lighting designer and co-founder of White Light, Andy Phillips, whose recent passing has dealt a devastating blow to our industry. Read a bit about his life and contributions in “Front of House,” and keep an eye out for a follow up in December by Rob Halliday, who will take a more intimate look at the influence of this innovator.

Also in “Front of House,” we take a brief look at the issue of convergence of lighting and video, in view of the appointment of lighting veteran John Wiseman to XL Video. Change is happening all around us. Is it time to jump on and enjoy the ride?

Time will tell.