Brought to you by...

SeaViews: Insights from the Gray Havens
February 1998
(formerly the _Rochester Rag_, formerly the _News from Detroit_)
Motto: The surest way to get a reputation for being a trouble maker these days is to go about repeating the very phrases that the Founders used in the struggle for independance.

-- C.A. Beard


Steve Langer
anon ftp site
News Archives News Archives

Standard disclaimers apply. In addition, the author makes no guarantees concerning the grammatical accuracy of his writing. Submitted text files must be in raw or compressed (.Z, .gz or PK Zip) ASCII. Image files must be in raw or compressed (see above) GIF89 (or older).

On last month's Fix;

the answer to last month's Fix,

"Women: should they be subject to capital punishment?"


In the first week of February Texas put to death the first women to be executed since the early 1970's. In contrast, last year over 80 men were executed. In the state of Washington last year a woman named Mary Kay Leturno was arrested for having an affair with her then 13 yo male student, with whom she had a child. At almost the same time, a male high school teacher was arrested and jailed for having an affair with a 15 yo female student. The man was summarily jailed for 7.5 years, while Leturno was released to parole (and within a week was back to her old tricks).

Despite all the gains that women have made this century, we still collectivly think of them as the weaker sex. This is inaccurate, unfair and dangerous. Women should be able to aspire to any position that a man can hold - provided they also are willing to take the consequences.

Guest Editorial:

Every 2 years or so something happens which makes me recall why I went into physics. The current (Feb 1998) issue of Science is one such event. In it is an article by Allen Reese of UC Berkely. Reese and his fellow astronomers, using Hubble and other advanced optics, have observed a very striking thing. The rate of the universe's expansion is increasing .

Why is that odd? Well common sense and a little math will tell you that if something explodes in space with an initial velocity Vo, the self-gravity of the mass will exert a retarding influence. Given enough time and mass, the expansion will halt and reverse. For years the only really interesting thing which cosmologists had to debate about the _future_ of the universe was whether it was open (ie. would expand forever) or closed (ie there was enough mass to cause the reversal).

Reese and his co-authors are at a loss to explain their results, yet they have already been confirmed by two other teams. Reese appeals to Einstein's Cosmological Constant, a fudge facter which Einstein had to introduce into his General Relativity Equations to make the universe appear static (he later bitterly complained that had he believed his own math, he would have predicted the universal expansion 20 years before Hubble discovered it). The Cosmological Constant has the effect of anti-gravity, ie it repels.

That is one possibility, but Reese and his team have overlooked another. If mass at the edge of the universe were being accelerated by another gravitational field, say an encircling black hole, this would also explain the observed acceleration. Where could that mass be going? I think the most likely place is a worm-hole to another universe. Remember, you heard it here first.

A little far out for you? Then read on.

Some time ago I commented on the fact that more physics breakthroughs are needed in order to achieve space flight towards distant suns. I tried in my small way to educate the likes of Jeff Thorne, an incurable biologist. But someone else has done a much better and more colorful job. I direct you to the home page of Marc Millis, a lucky guy who works for NASA's Breakthrough Propulsion Physics (BPP) group. I want this guy's job.

Warp Drive, When?


1. Brian Donahue shares the following;

Date: Fri, 06 Feb 98 07:50:58 CST



Dear Family & Friends,

Our second child, presently an unnamed baby boy, was born to us on February 5th, at 11:08 AM.


Birth weight:  7 lbs 8 oz
Length: 20 inches All are doing well. Gotta go. Phone calls to make. We're open to name suggestions. Brian, Ann, & Nicole Donahue

Ed: This is probably too late to make it as an entry, but Sheryl and I hope to one day have twin boys and in deference to her Scandinavian heritage we'll name them Sven and Tork.

2. Paul Campel (aka Denise);

Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 18:43:15 +0000

From: Denise Gerds 


Subject: News from Georgia

Steve...I thought that some of the classes at UW-Madison were pretty
darned silly coming out of their political science department, but you
just wouldn't believe what they're teaching for students at Robins Air
Force Base in public administration (see attached file).

The clip is directly out of the scheduling booklet for Georgia College.

There you have it, proof of just why administrative types in public
offices can be such jerks. new address might as well be:

Yeah, I got one of those vanity email addresses. Currently it points


which is my employer. Either one will work but I promise to keep the one updated to wherever I go.

Ed: Paul's enclosed image;

3. Chuck Scripter writes from the wilds of the North;

Date: Sat, 21 Feb 1998 14:30:28 -0500

From: Charles Scripter 


Subject: Berzerker!

Hey Steve,

Hope married life is treating you well.

>"Should women be subject to the death penalty?"

Such an easy survey question this month...  Of course they should...  Likewise, they should be subject to the draft and all those other fun things.  Equal rights, I say!

By the way, I'm Spartucus!


P.S.   Thought you might like know when Bezerker is this year...

>  From Fri Feb 20 11:31:21 1998

>  From: "Timothy C. Eisele" 

>  Subject: Berzerker Announcement (fwd)

>  To:

>  Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 11:31:03 -0500 (EST)



>  This just in from Guy Wicker, over the gt-pfrc list.  All PFRC members,

>  SCA folks, interested friends, and basically anyone who is amused by this

>  sort of thing (and willing to look after their own safety) are welcome  

>  at these events.  With it being on labor day this year, it should be a

>  lot more practical for MTU students to be here for it without staying here

>  all summer.


>  Forwarded message:

>  >

>  > Due to the odd timing of Worldcon this year, and the objections to early

>  > summer insects, the Houghton Berzerker will be held on Labor Day, when

>  > we would all normally be at Worldcon anyway.  That is September 3-7.

>  > Thursday - Monday.  Many people will be staying at McLain park from

>  > Monday August 31 on.

>  >

>  > This is an open invitation and you all are welcome to attend and to get  

>  > involved in stupidly dangerous activities!

>  >

>  > I am announcing this early so people can be sure to get their camping

>  > reservations in before the Labor day rush.


>  > Mclain State Park Reservation information:  1-800-44-PARKS.

>  > Campsite cost: $5 + $14 per night.

>  > 4 people can share one site.

>  > GENERAL TECHNICS GROUP # 359939 (give this to them with your reservation 

>  > to camp near us)

>  > CALL NOW!  Let me know if you have a reservation.

>  >

>  > The new property acquisition permits new activities on a considerably

>  > grander scale.  What can you do with 200 million cubic feet of stamp

>  > sand?  Eventually I will be building castles with it and destroying them

>  > in historically accurate ways.  Ever since I saw Mons Meg in Edinburgh

>  > ...

>  >      

>  >

>  > Usually there is a wilderness hike the weekend before Berzerker.  If

>  > there is any interest in an Isle Royale 3 day hike again please let me

>  > know.  Alternatively the Porcupine Mountains are about the same, but

>  > without the moose.  I worry that Isle Royale will be too crowded on

>  > Labor Day.

>  >

>  > Tomak's Berzerker project will be to make a 1:1 scale Easter Island head

>  > from some of the 6000 pounds of iron/aluminum thermite John McKana

>  > found.  This can be our "burning man", since we're holding this the same

>  > weekend.

>  >

>  > Everyone else is welcome to bring up their own project.  This is your

>  > opportunity to do something that would normally be insane, but can be

>  > done in safely under the supervision of our experienced safety officer

>  > Dermot.  I have lots of raw materials:  hundreds of pounds of assorted

>  > metal powders and oxidizers; empty 3,4,and 6 inch mortar shells for

>  > custom fireworks creations; LOX; propane; and hundreds of acres of 

>  > fireproof ground.

>  >

>  > Food:  I have a $500 - $1000 food budget again this year for the

>  > GT-Party group to come up with things to do with.

>  >      

4. Tom Hall

Date: Sat, 21 Feb 1998 17:46:10 -0600
From: Tom Hall
Subject: RE: lastcall

        > "Should women be subject to the death penalty?"

        If we have a death penalty, then of course they have the equal right to be terminated by the Justice system.

The larger issue: while it cuts down on recidivism (at least in this one individual's case), is it a deterrent?  And what if evidence
pops up later, and they were wrongly convicted?  Should it be three strikes, lights out, or what?

Whatever.  Back to watching Springer, America.


5. Jeff Thorne;

Date: Mon, 23 Feb 98 15:06:21 EST
From: Jeff Thorne
Subject: Re: lastcall


>  "Should women be subject to the death penalty?"

Only some women.

hope all is well, Jeff     

6. Barb Chapman;

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 08:04:54 -0500 (EST)
From: Barb Chapman
Subject: Humor: Why Barb Chapman Had to Go on Vacation This Week

An offering from Kevin Frank via Jami Geimer:


For a couple years I've been blaming it on iron-poor blood, lack of
vitamins, dieting and a dozen other maladies.  But now I found out the real
reason I'm always tired:

I'm overworked.      

The population of this country is 237 million.  104 million are retired.

That leaves 133 million to do the work. There are 85 million in school, which leaves 48 million to do the work.

Of this, there are 29 million employed by the federal government.This leaves 19 million to do the work. Four million are in the Armed Forces, which leaves 15 million to do the work.

Take from the total the 14,800,000 people who work for State and City Governments and that leaves 200,000 to do the work.

There are 188,000 in hospitals, so that leaves 12,000 to do the work.

Now, there are 11,998 people in prisons. That leaves just two people to do the work.     

You and me.

And you're sitting there reading e-mail.

Barb Chapman

Proud sponsor of RootsWeb Genealogical Data Cooperative.  Visit  

Quotes(s) of the month:

"It didn't even taste good."

-- Bill Gates commenting on the flavor of the pie that was tossed into his face in Belgium.

Fix of the month:

A question; Why do you think a press that has never cared before about CLinton's marital infidelities, is playing it up now to almost more importance than a potential MidEast war?



1. 20 Feb. Seattle; Mary Kay Laturno, within days of being released from jail into parole, was found once again with the 15 yo male student whose child she gave birth to last year. She's back in jail, this time probably for over 7 years. The couple was found in Laturno's car about two in the morning with passports and all the cash that Laturno could get from her bank.

2. Belgium, Feb 12; Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was taught a lesson in humility as he was pied in the face by a Belgian celebrity pie tosser. Microsoft has announced that it will sue the guilty party for reckless endangerment.



1. LA, 20 Feb; In an affirmation of what I said earlier in this rag, the new terrorists will be more likely to use biological, not bomb, weapons. Two men were captured with a deadly form of antrax that they had apparently made from scratch. The suspects may be members of Aryan Nation.


Washington D.C.

1. March 2; Bill Gates continues to have a bad year as he begins a week of testimony in a Congressional hearing designed to ascertain whether the business practices of Microsoft are monopolistic.

Please note the Rochester Rag is available on the web at:
© Steve Langer, 1995-2000