Giuliani Dome

New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani was widely admired for his can-do attitude -- and much-loathed for his autocratic ways. One summer during his tenure as mayor of New York, the city experienced a week-long heat wave during which the temperature rarely dipped below ninety degrees.

Giuliani finally called the chief of his emergency task force. "We need to air-condition the city," he declared. "You know those geodesic domes?" he asked. Yes. "I want you to find one that's big enough to cover Manhattan," he ordered, before hanging up the phone.

Some time later, Giuliani received a call in return. "We can't get a dome big enough," his chief explained. "But we can get several small ones."

Only then did the mayor explain that he had, of course, only been joking.

[Rank of Mom, Dad, and Rudolph Giuliani among those whom college graduates said they most wished to emulate in 2002: 1, 2, 3.]

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