News From Detroit FEB94

News From Detroit

December 1994

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			State Woebegone News                   December 1994
		  (formerly the NEWS FROM DETROIT)


Steve Langer                   (Ultrix)
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On last month's Fix;

       the answer to last month's Fix, 
	 "Since the last election clearly proves that American's are poorly
	  educated, what can be done to improve the schools?"

  I guess I should apologise for the subtlety of this question. It 
was meant in a satirical vein in the aftermath of the collective 
liberal media heart clutch caused by the mid term election. 

  "Some thoughts on those angry voters. Ask parents of any two 
   year olds and they can tell you about those temper tantrums:
   the stomping feet, the rolling eyes, the screaming. It's clear
   that the anger controls the child and not the other way around.
   It's the job of the parent to control the anger and channel it in 
   a positive way. Now imagine a nation full of two year olds. 
   The voters had a temper tantrum last week."
					--Peter Jennings in a NPR interview,
					  The Detroit News, Nov. 26, 1994

Perhaps Mr. Jennings' Canadian upbringing causes him to see things a
bit differently than the rest of us, but most of his journalist pals
in radio, TV, and the papers agree with him. I would argue that when
not one incumbant Rep. loses, the rage of the public is quite controlled,
although perhaps not in the "positive way" that Mr. Jennings would like.

  At least the media prepared us for this moment with their in depth
analyses of such books as _The Bell Curve_ and _The Decline of Intelligence
in America_ wherein the _New York Times_  book reviewer Malcolm Browne 
informs us that the average citizen no longer has the ability to understand
the import of his vote. Perhaps voting should no longer be a right, but
a licensed privelage with Hillary, the New York Times and the Washington
Post administering the license exam. Surely this would eliminate embarrassing
faux pas like California's Prop. 187 which now must be cleaned up by the
state courts.
  [BTW, Charles Murray, co-author of _The Bell Curve_, recently said
  [that most of the reviewers of his book were wrong. In a point by point
  [rebuttal (Dec. 8, Detroit Free Press), Murray says if you base your
  [opinions on reviews by the _New York Times_, _Washington
  [Post_, the _Economist_, _New Yorker_, or the TV news, you would
  [come away with the idea that intelligence is purely genetic. Says Murray,
  ["... by misrepresenting our data, the press, including Stephen J. Gould's
  [review in the New Yorker, would lead one to think that IQ is strictly
  [genetic in origin, and therefore race differences are irrevocably
  [Hmm. So the author of a book has the gall to say that the major media
  [have all misquoted his work, creating a racist overtone where none
  [was intended, and backs up his claim with side by side quotes from the 
  [book and the reviews.
  [Now why would the media demonstrably _lie_ about this book just before
  [an election? Could it be they were preparing an _a priori_ picture of 
  [the public as being stupid and ignorant so that after an election where
  [their side lost Peter Jennings and his pals could say "See! They were 
  [just stupid, angry children"? And how much longer will it be before 
  [the media outright demand that voting be a privelage?

But let us not linger on one small flaw in an industry which is 
otherwise noted for its accuracy, neutrality and sense of fair play ;-)

  For those of you who took the question at face value, many wrote
something to the effect that teachers should make more money, schools 
should get new equipment and parents should take a larger 
role in educating their kids. This last point is the correct one.

  I don't have the cite handy, but I seem to recall that the cost/student
in the U.S. has gone from $2100 in 1980 to $6500 today. Not coincendentally
welfare outlays over the same period have increased by a factor of four.
Since FDR at least $3 TRILLION has been spent on the war on poverty. Guess 
what? The war has only expanded. If the tired liberal practice of throwing 
money at problems had any validity, there should be no curable disease,
illiteracy or hunger left in America. Of course, liberals will argue that
we simply aren't taxed enough. 

  From detnew93.sep you may recall a survey that ranked the states by
SAT score. The top five were;
  Iowa, N. Dakota, S. Dakota, Utah, Minn.

and they all spend in the bottom 50% of costs per student. Wisconsin
was the only state which was in the top 10 SAT's and the top 10 costs
per student. At the end of the day, when you have normed for socioeconomic
status, race, gender and everything else, the single greatest predictor
of how a student will perform in school is if they have one or two 
parents and if those parents instill a sense of personal
worth and responsiblity.  Sorry folks, but Dan Quayle was right. 

On Separation of Church and State;
  I was just reminded again that I cannot buy alcohol today in the God
fearing state of Minnesota because today is Sunday. Not that there is
any problem with descrating the Sabbath if you happen to be a Jew or
Seventh Day Adventist (whose holy day is Sat.) Does this fall under the
  "... establishment of religion ..." clause of the first amendment?
I guess not. I only ask this question because in a nation that declares
Xmas and Easter national holidays and  bans the sale of alcohol on
one person's holy day but not another's, I can't get why the Press has 
their undies in a bundle about the EVIL NEWT suggesting that prayer in 
school may be a nice thing to allow.

On Intel;

  Strangely enough, IBM's announcement on Dec. 15 that they will no
longer build PC's based on the 586 (I refuse to use the trade marked
marketing name) has had little impact on Intel's stock which has still
only lost $5 this week to close at about $60/share. For those of you who
haven't heard, many people are miffed with Intel because their 586 has
problems with floating point division. [I recall a similar problem with
some Gateway 486 machines we had in Detroit, but Gateway just quietly
offered to upgrade the boxes.]

  The reason the bug has achieved such notoriety is that it was widely
discussed on the Internet by low budget scientists who were using Intel
boxes to run their simulations on. When CEO Andy Grove finally admitted
on the net that indeed there was a problem, he made no friends by
offering to upgrade the chips only if you could convince Intel's application
specialists that your work needed the more reliable model. This patriarchal
additude has not won any hearts and _Intel Inside_ stickers are now a
rock around the neck of 586 PC sales. One wag on responded
to Grove's statement that the 586 only goofs up once in 9 billion
operations thus,
  "... when I buy a $4000 PC, I expect it to do math at least as well
  as my $10 calculator."

  Industry cynics sympathetic to Intel are calling IBM's decision to
discontinue 586 based sales  self serving becuase IBM wants to
sell a machine based on its own chip, the PowerPC. However, this argument
fails on 2 points: 1) IBM is not yet selling a PowerPC based PC, only Apple
is and 2) the PowerPC is made by Motorola, IBM only gets some royalties.
Thus IBM is actually hurting its short term sales by this move.  Regardless,
I find it interesting that memory constraints, hardware mapped I/O and
a byte order that is opposite every other chip in the industry  have never
adversely affected Intel, and even when the chip CAN"T DIVIDE the stock
barely budges. 

  I guess you can fool most of the people all of the time.

On lawyers in Wash. D.C.:

  Few of you are probably aware of this, but our own first lady, Hillary
Clinton, is the last lawyer standing in Wash. from that venerable Arkansas
law firm, Rose. Vince Foster (Clinton's legal counsel) is dead, Webster 
Hubble (Clinton's appointee to the justice department) pleaded
guilty to tax evasion and mail fraud and another member of the Rose firm
who was living in D.C. has skedaddled back to Arkansas. Bill may want 
to reconsider the company he keeps.

On the Evil Newt ;

  Last Sunday (Dec. 4), Newt Gingrich appeared on a press show and,
among other things, mentioned that he thinks more children should have the
option of being relocated away from abusive parents and housed in 
orphanages. The White House lost no time in accusing Newt of being an 
evil Grinch who would separate children from their loving families. Let
me remind you that Hillary Clinton and Secy. of Health and Human Services
Donna Schalala were both formerly on the board of directors of the Children's
Defense Fund and while on that board they supported the right of children 
to sue and divorce their parents. Now where did Hillary and Donna expect the
children to go after they divorced their parents if not to an orphanage or
foster home? Surely they didn't expect aunts and uncles to pick up all the

  Can we spell HYPOCRISY?
On a personal Matter;

  Who all is planning on going to the Spring (Wash.) APS meeting? I'll
print a list next month.

On the Misery Update;
			   ---- Clinton years ---
			  |                      |
	      | 1992    1993    1994    1995    1996
Unemployment  | 7.2%    6.6%     ?
Inflation     | 4.7%    2.8%     ?
Interest      | 7.7%    8.3%    9.1
Fed. Inc. Tax | 28%     48%     48%
(top margin)  |
FICA          | 15%     15%     15%
Cap Gains     | 28%     28%     28%
Gasoline      | $0.15   $0.20   $0.20
(per gallon)  |

On Angry White Males;

  That's who the Nov. 10 Washington Post says is responsible for the
lanslide Rep. win. 

  "Two years ago, it was the Year of the Women. This election may 
   become known as the Year of the Angry White Male."
   "Women's voting preferences have remained largely unchanged since
   1990, but the results represent a significant shift for men ...
   They represent a return to the stage of the Angry White Male who
   first appeared on the political scene in the early 1980's "

   "There's been a gender gap before, but this year its been really 
    pronounced, " said Warren Mitofsky whose firm conducts national 
    exit polls for newspapers, including the Post."
    "Many male voters may have turned out in unusually large numbers
    due to issues of particular interest to men - issues that often 
    favor Rep. candidates. For example, exit polls showed that more than
    1/3 of all voters Tuesday supported the NRA and 2/3 of them voted
    for Reps."

 Last year during Xmas time, reader NC State Jeff suggested that I should
obtain a sense of historical perspective. Clearly, the _Washington Post's_
sense of history dates all the way back to 1980, coincendentally the year
Ronald Reagan was elected. Isn't it odd how there were no angry white
males before then?  Then again, in a society that believes that there
was no fluctuation in ozone concentration prior to our putting 
sattelites in space to measure it, perhaps this attitude is not surprising.


IRS Threat Usually gets Results
by Joseph Sobran,  Lansing State Journal

  I just got a letter from the IRS headed "Notice of Intent to Levy."
My anonymous correspondant said that if I didn't send the money they
claim I owe, they'll start grabbing my assets, income, whatever. I
believe it. I sent the money.

  I have a certain respect for the IRS. It's the business end of govt.
It doesn't pretend that the money I 'owe' them has been earned by them
in any way. It doesn't care in the least that I have neither asked for nor
recieved any substantial goods from them in the period in question. It
doesn't feel that it's my friend or tell me that I'm a free man. It comes
right to the point. It wants my money. It makes threats, not promises. And
of course if I try to fight them, I'll go to prison. So I sent the money.
I don't argue with someone who has a gun on me.

  The IRS is the blunt end of govt., the one  politicians spend all
their time evading. They tell you all the wonderful things they'll get
for you, but don't tell you where they'll get the money. They leave out
the fact that the IRS will get it for them - one way or another.

  All politics rests on unacknowledged extortion. The IRS' threats are
nothing but the obvious outcomes of the politician's promises. If one
person is getting something for nothing, someone must be losing something
for nothing. An honest politician would pose for photos with his arm
around the IRS comissioner. He'd wrap his arm around him and the caption
would read, "You see this guy? He's the one who makes my work possible."

  The trick of maintaining a trillion dollar welfare state is hiding
the mechanism of extortion. The politician has to make the beneficiaries
grateful for his benefits, while confusing the victim as to who is 
responsible for shafting him.

  Ironically, not submitting to extortion is called cheating. In a sane
society, it would be called just. The limits of govt. to tax would be 
strictly defined, and taxes beyond this would be called cheating. In our 
system, it is not cheating when the govt. says we owe them money for
benefits someone else recieved.

  If the supreme court construed the 13'th amaendment half as braodly
as it did the free speech clause of the 1'st, it it would rule that this
taxation is a form of involuntary servitude. But in our system, the
less govt. does for you, the more you are likely to owe.


1. Texas Tom writes

From Sat Nov 26 17:06:47 1994

> "North is just cozing up to his extra chromosome pals in the..."
I believe he is referring to the study that showed many of the more violent
criminals were shown to have 24th chromosome.  (Which still doesn't make
sense, as North was involved in more of a white-collar type thingy, but I
don't think he was talking about Downs whatsoever.  Is Stevie excited about
the possibility of a Democrat saying something like Watt's "cripple" comment,
so he can say, "See?")

>  "Since the last election clearly proves that American's are poorly
>  educated, what can be done to improve the schools?"
Give them some fucking money.
Teaching should be a high-paying profession, like it is in Taiwan.


  [Ah yes, now that we have a genetic test for criminality, can 
  [govt. approved breeding licences be far behind? And Stevie doesn't need
  [to get excited about one case of left wing hypocrisy when there are
  [dozens more.

2. Florida Doug is no longer in Florida.

From Sun Dec  4 11:35:53 1994


I survived and made it to  MN.  Address for the near future

280 Pine St., Apmt 202
Foley, MN 56329


3. An old lab-mate from Detroit, Beaumont Bruce, writes

From Mon Dec 12 08:54:58 1994

The news flash at the end of this email should be of interest to you. I
got it off of one of my reading lists. David has been keeping us up to
date on your exploits. Sounds like you could use someone with urologic
training. At least you are breaking new ground. Be careful of those x-c
trails. Ponds and cliffs are one thing, but 4-inch saplings will really
get you. They bend just enough to cause severe abrasions - coming and
going - and can be annoying if your skis no longer touch the ground. 

By the way, the new NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts just arrived. The
evironmentalists just can't leave well enough alone. Check out this

the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. 

I can't wait to see the publications from this project.
Best wishes for the Holidays.       

Bruce W. Steinert, Ph.D.                                 
Department of Urology                              
William Beaumont Hospital                


VATICAN CITY (AP) -- In a joint press conference in St. Peter's Square
this morning, MICROSOFT Corp. and the Vatican announced that the
Redmond software giant will acquire the Roman Catholic Church in
exchange for an unspecified number of shares of MICROSOFT common
stock. If the deal goes through, it will be the first time a computer
software company has acquired a major world religion.

With the acquisition, Pope John Paul II will become the senior
vice-president of the combined company's new Religious Software
Division, while MICROSOFT senior vice-presidents Michael Maples and
Steven Ballmer will be invested in the College of Cardinals, said
MICROSOFT Chairman Bill Gates.

"We expect a lot of growth in the religious market in the next five to
ten years," said Gates. "The combined resources of MICROSOFT and the
Catholic Church will allow us to make religion easier and more fun for
a broader range of people."

Through the MICROSOFT Network, the company's new on-line service, "we
will make the sacraments available on-line for the first time" and
revive the popular pre-Counter-Reformation practice of selling
indulgences, said Gates. "You can get Communion, confess your sins,
receive absolution -- even reduce your time in Purgatory -- all without
leaving your home."

A new software application, MICROSOFT Church, will include a macro
language which you can program to download heavenly graces
automatically while you are away from your computer.

An estimated 17,000 people attended the announcement in St. Peter's
Square, watching on a 60-foot screen as comedian Don Novello -- in
character as Father Guido Sarducci -- hosted the event, which was
broadcast by satellite to 700 sites worldwide.

Pope John Paul II said little during the announcement. When Novella
chided Gates, "Now I guess you get to wear one of these pointy hats,"
the crowd roared, but the pontiff's smile seemed strained.

The deal grants MICROSOFT exclusive electronic rights to the Bible and
the Vatican's prized art collection, which includes works by such
masters as Michelangelo and Da Vinci. But critics say MICROSOFT will
face stiff challenges if it attempts to limit competitors' access to
these key intellectual properties.

"The Jewish people invented the look and feel of the holy scriptures,"
said Rabbi David Gottschalk of Philadelphia. "You take the parting of
the Red Sea -- we had that thousands of years before the Catholics
came on the scene."

But others argue that the Catholic and Jewish faiths both draw on a
common Abrahamic heritage. "The Catholic Church has just been more
successful in marketing it to a larger audience," notes Notre Dame
theologian Father Kenneth Madigan. Over the last 2,000 years, the
Catholic Church's market share has increased dramatically, while
Judaism, which was the first to offer many of the concepts now touted
by Christianity, lags behind.

Historically, the Church has a reputation as an aggressive competitor,
leading crusades to pressure people to upgrade to Catholicism, and
entering into exclusive licensing arrangements in various kingdoms
whereby all subjects were instilled with Catholicism, whether or not
they planned to use it. Today Christianity is available from several
denominations, but the Catholic version is still the most widely used.
The Church's mission is to reach "the four corners of the earth,"
echoing MICROSOFT's vision of "MS DOS on every desktop and in every

Gates described MICROSOFT's long-term strategy to develop a scaleable
religious architecture that will support all religions through
emulation. A single core religion will be offered with a choice of
interfaces according to the religion desired -- "One religion, a
couple of different implementations," said Gates.

The MICROSOFT move could spark a wave of mergers and acquisitions,
according to Herb Peters, a spokesman for the US Southern Baptist
Conference, as other churches scramble to strengthen their position in
the increasingly competitive religious market.

4. From NC State Jeff

  "Since the last election clearly proves that Americans are poorly
   educated, what can be done to improve the schools?"

My response:  I am too poorly educated to understand why "the last election
clearly proves that Americans are poorly educated" and therefore I am too
poorly educated to thoughtfully respond to your question.  Prior to being 
notified that I am too poorly educated, I believed the last election
might be consistent with the notion that the majority of Americans
are well educated.  My reasoning was that most people eligible to vote
did not because they knew that their vote did not make a bit of difference and
they knew that their time was more productively spent by pursuing other

My own question for you: In the class that I teach for undergraduates who
are capable of dressing themselves and doing at least basic calculus, most
of the students are majoring in either physics or meteorology.  A general
but not universal pattern among the physics majors is that they do well
on the tests but do not bother to do many of the assignments.  My impression
is that the physicists desperately try to be smart and they stigmatize
hard work.  My question is "Why?".  Also, does this attitude persist in grad.

happy holidays, Jeff

  [Voter turnout has been under 50% for this century, that's not news.
  [As for physicists being lazy, I wouldn't presume to speak for others,
  [but I would say that with a grad school penitance ranging from 4 years 
  [(theory) to 8 or more (high energy) and a mean of 6 years with little
  [chance of getting a job in your research area, physicists are not lazy.
  [Insane maybe.

5. John Johnson is upping the ante on the Hill, that's Capitol Hill

From Sat Dec 17 13:46:07 1994

I am back from the land of flesh-pressing (and tie wearing). 
I have been looking for a job in policy since the
summer. The elections turned out in such a way that I actually have
been trying to get a job as a professional staff member. Most staff
members make less than us postdocs, and DC is expensive, but I think
it would be great to get involved. And after a while I will make a
good deal more. Now I didn't get any job offers yet, but it was quite

The first time out there was the week before Thanksgiving week. I went
to the ANS meeting and spent most of my time lobbying for a job (at
the meeting and on Capitol Hill). I was invited to take the
"Capitol Hill Staff Training School", put on by the Leadership Institute.
(The Leadership Institute is a non-profit/non-partisan educational 
institute that promotes the Conservative agenda.)

On Dec 1-3, I attended the Conservative Leadership Conference and heard
some real good speakers. The conference was televised on CSPAN in case
anyone saw my big head. I got to meet the Newt, as well as Bob Dornan,
Dick Armey, Paul Wyrich and many other big names in the Conservative
arena. I even have a nice picture of me meeting G. Gordon Liddy on my
office door just to irk the liberals that I work with.)

The next week was paid for by the lab, as was the airfare, so I could
try and raise funds for a project I have been working on. That
week I also attended a 3 day school on "Legislative Project Management",
put on by LI. It was very intense and I learned a lot. I also got a
chance to network considerably. I made contacts at the Herritage Foundation,
the CATO Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, the Competitive
Enterprise Institute, Acuracy in Media, and several others including
some on The Hill.

It was kind of funny, when I was looking for a guy who I had met from
Newt's staff, I got sent right up to the Minority Whip office. Not
the right place. So, like with all the other offices I'd been to,
the door was closed and I just walked right in. Well, Newt was sitting
right there typing away on his laptop and there was some kind of 
meeting with bigwigs going on. (I think I saw a large bag of money,
but you can't quote me on that...) I politely asked where to go to 
see my friend and left. It wasn't that big a deal, but from the
perspective of living outside the beltway again, it was interesting
to say the least.

So, after doing some information gathering for a strategig planning
committee I'm on at LANL, I flew back early to Los Alamos. 

I did get to meet Rutt and Dorsey out there and some other friends.
It was a lot of fun and really pumped me up. You'd have enjoyed it.
Of course, if I DO land a staff job, I'll keep all my friends in
mind. Remember - it's all who you know...

What's up with you? I'm going to start work on the next issue of 
the newsletter for a January release date. Send (or email) photos
and stories. 

(At work today)

John D. Johnson 
Home: 505 Oppenheimer Drive #516, Los Alamos, NM 87544
Work: Adv. Nuc. Tech., J562, LANL, Los Alamos, NM 87545
(H) 505/424-7772 (H) 800/863-7772 (W) 505/665-4054

  [Great to hear about your exploits John. I remember when we were
  [all sitting around at the lab one night trying to do Machanics HW,
  [when you, Rutt and I were discussing our futures. I just wanted
  [a staff job at Fermi or Argonne, you always talked about going for
  [the staff job, then getting a law degree and maybe elected
  [office. Looks like your plans are panning out a bit better.
  [Say, do me a favor. Next time your in D.C., take Brenda out for
  [dinner with some of your conservative buddies.
  [Oh, and be prepared to be called a member of "that shadowy organization
  [with deep pockets" GOPAC. Admit it, you're a Bircher and work for the 
  [Trilaterlists also, right? 

6. From the sunny shores of Chicago, Renee Sanger-Redman pens

From Wed Dec 21 09:43:45 1994

Steve -

This message was from a friend of mine in Canada.  I thought you might find
it mildly amusing.  Merry Christmas

       Well, Virginia there may have been a Santa Claus...



But there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be
classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does
not completely rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever


But since Santa doesn't (appear to) handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish
& Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total -
378 million according to Population Reference Bureau.   At an average
(census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million
homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.


This is due to the different time zones and the rotation of the
earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This
works out to 822.6 visits/second. This is to say that for each
Christian household with good children, Santa has .001 second to
park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the
stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat
whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back
into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of
these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth
(which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our
calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78
miles/household, a total trip of 75.5 million miles; not counting
stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours,
plus feeding & etc.

So Santa's sleigh must be moving at 650 miles/second, 3,000 times
the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made
vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4
miles/second. A conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles/hour.


Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego
set (2 lb), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa,
who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional
reindeer can pull no more than 300 lb. Even granting that "flying
reindeer" (see #1) could pull 10 times the normal amount, we cannot
do the job with 8, or even 9 reindeer. We need 214,200. This
increases the payload - not counting the weight of the sleigh - to
353,430 tons. This is four times the weight of the ocean-liner Queen


This will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as a spacecraft
reentering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will
absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy.

Per second. Each.

In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously,
exposing the reindeer behind them, and creating deafening sonic
booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized
within .00426 of a second. Meanwhile, Santa will be subjected to
centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250 lb
Santa (seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his
sleigh by 4,315,015 lb of force.

If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead now.
GIRIDHAR M.S.                                           J    H
Milwaukee, WI, USA                                      A    I                               I    N                                                D
Dr. William F. Colmers
Department of Pharmacology
University of Alberta
9-36 MSB                                        (403) 492-3933 (Phone)
Edmonton Alberta T6G 2H7 Canada                 (403) 492-44325 (FAX)


	Wisdom is what's left after knowledge has been forgotten.


       "What will be your personal fix, i.e. New Years resolutions?"



1. Dec. 20: A state judge threw out drug convictions obtained last year
through the use of random drive through check lanes citing a state supreme
court decision the previous year which found that random sobriety check
lanes violated the 'probable cause' doctrine. Amazingly, state police
figured that drugs were entirely different from alcohol and reasoned
that drug check lanes would pass master.

  [Look for them to still not get it and try gun check lanes.

2. Dec. 19: An elderly couple found out from the local newspaper that
their 150 acre farm had been declared public property by the  DNR because
part of it abuts a public hunting area. They are now wondering if there
is any way they can stop orange clad hunters from cutting through their
property, or at least get damages from the DNR whose largesse with their
farm is slowly destroying it.


1. Lansing, Dec. 16: In a somewhat surprisimg move, the state supreme court
over-ruled a lower court's decision in the case of Jack Kavorkian and
assisted suicide. This is sort of complicated, so a review may help;

  -Jack offs a few people, he gets arrested for murder, but is acquitted
   on the grounds that there is no law banning assisted suicide.
  -The state legislature passes a bill that makes assisted suicide
   illegal, Jack offs a few more, and is arrested under the new law.
  -Jack's lawyer successfully argues to an appeal court that the law
   is state unConstitutional.
  -The prosecutor appeals to the state supreme court which throws out
   the new law, but says that under common law Kavorkian can be prosecuted.

  So Jack has beat the rap 3 times, but since he has killed 21 'patients'
the prosecutors will get a few more cracks at him. 


1. Madison, Dec 17: Theresa McGovern, 45 year old daughter of former
presidential candidate George McGovern, was found frozen to death
in a snow bank along State Street with a blood alcohol level of 0.34%.
Ms. McGovern has been described as alcohol dependant ever since she 
helped her father run for the presidency in 1972. 

New York;

1. New York City, Dec. 6: An ill looking dog aboard a 747 arriving from
the Caribbean was impounded for observation at Kennedy airport. X-rays
revealed the canine was carrying $225K in cocaine filled condoms which
were lodged in the animal's stomach. Officials released the dog and arrested
the man who claimed it.

2. New York, Dec. 8; In the October issue of this rag, I reported that
Robert McNeil of the McNeil/Lehrer News Hour would be leaving the show
at the end of this year. McNeil denied the charge that his leaving had
anything to do with the budget shortfall that was about to overtake the
News Hour due to the loss of 20% of corporate sponsorhip.  Today the
President of TCI CableVision has announced that he will buy a 2/3 stake
of the show and reshow it on his commercial cable stations. McNeil has
cancelled his retirement.

  [Now remember, it had nothing to do with the money.


1. Montpelier, Dec. 8: A middle aged homeless women, who appears to be
Russian from the limited speech fragments she utters, has taken  up
residence in the ladies room of a local shopping mall. Women shoppers
have complained that when they attempt to use the facilities, the
'squatter' roughly escorts them back out of her 'throne room'. The state
attorney general has declared that there is no legal means to eject the 
women from her residence and despite repeated attempts  to explain to
her that a homeless shelter is available, she won't leave. 

  The case has gotten stickier of late because a homeless man now
wants to move into the men's room, but authorities have detained 
him in the homeless shelter. The man is now sueing the state under
its own fair housing act for sex discrimination.


1. MIT, APS News, Dec.: The annual Ig Nobel awards went to the following;

  Physics - The Japaneese Meterological Society for a seven year study of
	    whether earthquakes are caused by catfish wagging their tails.
  Mathematics - The Southern Baptist Church of Alabama for their county by
		county estimate of how many Alabamans will go to hell if 
		they don't repent.
  Biology - Brian Sweeney, Brian Jacobs and Wayne Hannson for their break
	    through study, "The Constipated Serviceman: Prevalence among
	    Deployed US Troops", an in-depth numerical analysis of bowel
	    movement frequency [Military Medicine, August, 1993]
  Medicine - To a former US Marine Corps member, who was bitten by his own
	     pet rattlesnake and at his own insistence, was treated by
	     having a car spark plug wire attached to his lip and the
	     car revved to 3000 rpm for five minutes. Sharing the prize
	     are Dr.'s Dart and Gustafson of the Univ. of Arizona Health
	     Center for their paper, " Failure of Electric Shock Treatment
	     for Rattlesnake Envenomation", [Annals of Emergency Medicine,
	     June, 1991, pg. 659].
  Peace - Physicist/Politician John Hagelan (Natural Law Party) for getting
	  4000 trained meditators to reduce violent crime in Wash. D.C.
	  by 18%.
  Literature - L. Ron Hubbard, for his book Dianetics, which has been 
	       highly profitable to mankind, or at least a portion 

Wash D.C.;

1. Dec. 12: Clinton asked for and recieved the resignation of Surgeon
General Jocelyn Elders today citing her tendency to speak beyond the
policy of the administration. Was she fired becuase she spoke out for the
legalization of drugs (coincendentally one  week before her son was 
arrested for selling)? No. Was she fired for pushing nation wide condom
distribution in all high schools? No. Was she fired for suggesting that
children get sexual education from 1'st grade on? No. She was fired
because next week a _Newsweek_ article will appear in which she suggests
that junior high students should be taught proper masturbation techniques.
Why this was grounds for termination I cannot guess.

  [Maybe Bill _is_ reconsidering the company he keeps.

Net News;

1. from Thu Dec 15 03:21:42 1994
   the Humor List Digest

From: Bill Babcock 

ok, you can't have seen _this_ yet...
It's from the January issue of Reason Magazine.


* Gary Selick just had to have himself a Grand Slam Breakfast at 
Denny's. Unfortunately the 405-pound man could not fit into any of the
restaurant's regular chairs. The hostess even found an armchair, but that
still wasn't big enough. Some of us might think this a sign that we should
forego that Grand Slam Breakfast, and probably a few other meals as well.
Not Mr. Selick, who has sued Denny's for failing to accommodate him under the
Americans with Disabilities Act and for inflicting emotional distress.
He wants $1.3 million.  

* In Topeka, 16-year-old Sam Roper has asked his high school to record his
picketing against gay rights as part of his required community service.  
* In answer to that age-old question, it was apparently duck season, not 
rabbit season, in Colorado. A man in a duck suit working for incumbent
Democrat Gov. Roy Romer attended appearances by his GOP challenger Bruce
Benson. The move was designed to highlight the fact that X Benson 
"ducked out" of scheduled debates with Romer. But the duckman claims 
that Benson's campaign director spat on him, poked him in the chest, shouted
obscenities at him, and challenged him to a fistfight. The duck said, "I don't
debate and I don't fight. I'm only a poor duck out to make a living."  

* At last year's meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America,
researchers were stationed in the restrooms to watch the physicians after they
did their business. The results: 44 percent of the male experts in the spread
of disease, and 13 percent of the females, did not wash their hands.  

* All guns sold in Fulton County, Georgia, must carry a warning label 
saying that having a gun in the house increases the odds that the owner or a
relative will be killed. What next? A label warning that owning a car
increases the odds that the owner or a relative will die in an automobile
accident? A label on fried chicken warning that it can lead to heart attacks? 
How about a warning on politicians that they will pass silly laws?  

* A quiz. Suppose you're a high school administrator and one of your 
foreign exchange students has a problem with body odor. What do you do? Have a
little talk with him in your office? At Dossier City, Louisiana's Airline High
School, administrators sent letters to each of the school's 16 exchange 
students stressing that "Americans find body odors highly offensive" and 
asking the students to bathe daily "so as not to offend your American hosts." 
The 15 students who didn't stink were understandably disturbed by the letter. 
The one who did should find a lawyer. Body odor may be covered by the 
Americans with Disabilities Act.  

* University of Idaho student Jason Wilkins thought it would be fun to 
moon a group of his friends standing outside a dorm. He tried to climb onto a 
three-foothigh heater in front of a window on the dorm's third floor. But he 
slipped and fell off the heater and through the window, breaking several 
bones and cutting himself up. You've guessed the punchline. He's now filed a 
claim for $940,000, charging the university with negligence for failing to 
properly supervise his behavior and for not warning him of the dangers of 
falling through a third-floor window.  

* In Iowa, Barry Lee McMahon will have to turn in his personalized 
license plates, says the state Supreme Court. The Department of Transportation
demanded that he return the plates, which read 3MTA3. The DOT claims that when
viewed through a mirror, the plates read EATME.  

* Who's that selling crack near the schoolyard? It may be the police. 
Orange County, California, authorities revealed that they have been 
manufacturing crack for police to sell in undercover operations, including one
near an elementary school.  

* When David Peterson's 5-year-old daughter slammed her sister's fingers 
in a car door, he did what many American parents would do: He gave her eight 
swats on her bottom. Unfortunately, parents in Canada, where Peterson was 
visiting, apparently do things differently. Police charged him with assault. 

2. For those of you who are convinced that I never look at new evidence
that may, "Oh my God", challenge my opinions, I include the following
Physics News Update which has some of the first hard evidence that the earth
may actually be experiencing large scale (non-local) warming. However, I 
have never flatly said that global warming is not happening, only that if 
it is, humans are not really affecting it one way or the other.

Newsgroups: sci.physics.research
From: (Spinoza's God)
Subject: Physics News Update #207 (15 Dec 1994)


Past PNUPs, as well as "What's New" and "FYI" news bulletins, are
available for anonymous FTP from in the PHYSICS-NEWS
directory, in subdirectories by year.  The files are named by date;
the latest file is always found as "latest.txt".  (Thanks Kipp!)


A digest of physics news items by Phillip F. Schewe, American
Institute of Physics
Number 207   December 15, 1994         

devised by a collaboration of physicists at IBM Zurich and Hiroshima
University.  Perovskite, a class of ceramic crystal (e.g., MgSiO3) in
which three chemical elements combine in the ratio 1:1:3 to form a
layered cubic structure, is prominent in the Earth's mantle.  It became
even more famous when over the past eight years a series of
superconducting perovskites were discovered.  The superconductivity
in these compounds appears to reside in planar networks of copper
and oxygen and scientists have wondered whether copper was crucial. 
Copper may well be special but now ruthenium-oxygen planes seem
to carry superconductivity too.  The Hiroshima-IBM material, a Sr-
Ru-O compound, only becomes superconducting at 0.93 K, but the
researchers believe that by studying the new "ruthenate" materials we
will learn more about the higher-temperature cuprate materials.  (Y.
Maeno et al., Nature, 8 December 1994.)

A GLOBAL SEA LEVEL RISE has been detected by the
TOPEX/Poseidon satellite.  Speaking at last week's meeting of the
American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, scientists from the
U.S.-French project announced that the average ocean height had
risen 3 mm each year since late 1992.  The rise may be due to a
longterm trend such as an increase in the melting of glaciers, or to a
shorter-term phenomenon such as El Nino effects in the Pacific.  If
the latter, then sea levels would shortly decline again.  The
TOPEX/Poseidon satellite, launched in August 1992, views the face
of the ocean with carefully timed radar beams.  Designed to study
ocean currents, the craft has been able to monitor sea levels because
of a higher than expected accuracy in altimetry.  (Science News, 10
December 1994.)

at CERN, where lead ions achieve energies as high as 35 TeV.  The
Tevatron at Fermilab still possesses beams with the highest energy
per nucleon, 900 GeV, but CERN's lead ions (each consisting of 208
nucleons) have more total energy.  CERN researchers hope that
collisions involving their lead ions will provide the first tangible
evidence for quark-gluon plasma, the hypothetical state of matter in
which quarks do not necessarily configure themselves into the
conventional groupings of two quarks (mesons) and three quarks
(baryons).  (CERN press release, November 21, 1994.)

THE ABANDONED SSC SITE may be used for various geoscience
projects, such as the study of subsurface fluid flow, particularly as it
applies to the preservations of aquifers.  The partially completed SSC
tunnel is 22.5 km long and proceeds through sedimentary strata---
shale and chalk---similar to those found underneath many Midwestern
cities.  A meeting at LBL was convened in September 1994 to discuss
the matter.  (Eos, Nov. 29.)

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Last Word;
 Nothing long and inspiring, just a heartfelt Happy Holidays.
 Until next month. 

 Steve Langer

Last Updated 04/14/95.© 1996 PPSA Consulting