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

the answer to last month's Fix,

  "Given that the current minimum wage is nearly unlivable, what 
   should be done about it?" 

If $4.35/hour is not enough to live on, how about $7.00/hour, or $15.00 or hell why not guarantee every working person at least $100k/year. "Ah c'mon Steve, you're being rediculous." Am I? There is a great deal of envy and rage out there directed at baseball players and owners. Many think that professional athletes, corporate CEO's and performers make too make too much money and would suggest that "someone" should put a stop to it. That someone always turns out to be the govt. Some of you may recall that in 1990 a tax change was passed which eliminated tax deductions to corporations that paid over $1 Million in salary to their CEOs. Some in Congress are suggesting that the Congress itself should actually pass salary caps on baseball players. And it was only last year, in the throws of its hubris, that the Dem controlled House was suggesting capitation of medical fees as part of the Clinton Health Care Plan.

What is the common thread? Equality of outcome. If, liberals argue, we can't make everyone elses wages come down, we'll legislate higher wages for the poor. Some, such as Sen. Biden (Dem.) have even suggested tying the minimum wage to inflation. What a wonderful idea. I wonder if anyone has explained the term "positive feedback" to the Sen. But no. Spiraling inflation, more unemployment, an increasingly hostile small business environment, none of this matters compared to the naked truth. Some people are smarter, or more athletic or better looking, and that is simply not fair. Thus we will legislate equality of income by capping the top, increasing the minimum and using a "progressive" tax system. We will legislate opportunity through Affirmitive Action. We will legislate "fairness" by making discriminating for excellence illegal.

On the Balanced Budget Amendment;

In the mid 1980s, at the end of Reagan's first term, there was this little thing called Gramm-Rudman that was passed by the House. This was a law which required the House to provide a balanced budget every year, unless an emergency required deficit spending. If the House failed to provide said balance, automatic across-the-board cuts were to go into effect to bring the budget into the black. Since the budget has yet to be balanced, we must conclude that the U.S. has been in a constant state of emergency since 1985. This is probably not too far from the truth.

Tomorrow (March 2), the Senate will vote on the Balanced Budget Amend. This bit of legaleese is somewhat unique. As currently written, it roughly says,

  "... the House shall produce a balanced budget each year, unless
   by a 3/5 vote of the House, this disablity shall be removed. The
   Supreme Court shall have no power over this amendment."

This is sort of like saying,

  "The right to Free Speech shall not be abridged, unless the Congress
   feels that it should, and the Supreme Court can't find this 

What more can one say?

On the Post Mortem;

Well, the Balanced Budget Amend failed on Thursday March 2. When it became clear that it would fail, Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (Rep. Kansas) also voted against it. He did this because an obsure procedural rule allows anyone who voted on the winning side of defeated legislation to do a recall vote at any later time. Expect Pres. candidate Dole to call this vote about 2 months before the '96 Presidential election.

The reasons given by Dems. for defeating this are interesting. They claim that evil Reps. would gut the Social Security surplus fund to pay down the debt, neglecting to mention that the '93 Clinton/Dem budget increased taxes on Soc Sec checks. Dems also failed to mention that in exchange for the votes of two N. Dakota Dem Senators, Dole promised to include a clause that would keep Soc. Sec. off the block. However, after that concession was given, the N. Dakota senators renegged anyway. Meanwhile, the Clintons went on a photo-op with school children to point out that evil Reps. would gut the Federal school lunch program, thus leading to the starvation of thousands of disadvantaged kids. What the main media didn't point out on the evening news was that while Dems wanted to increase the program by 3.5%, the Reps would have increased it 4.5%. Which number is bigger?

In any case, the language of the amendment was a tortured morass of loopholes and exceptions. It would probably serve the nation better if a cleaner version were written. But the real story, of course, is that Congress once again denied the states (and the people) a say in their governance. After all, if the BBA had passed Congress, it still would have required a 3/4 vote of the state legislatures to become an amendment. With 17 Dem and 18 Rep controlled state legislatures (with the remainder split), it is by no means clear that the BBA would have been ratified. Yet, the fact that it will not even be given the chance is another telling example of the dynasty mentality that prevails in D.C.

On America's Grad Schools;

FYI, I'm reproducing the rankings from the March 20 US News and World Report for those schools (and majors) near to our hearts.

                Law     Bus     Med     Eng     Econ    PolSci  Soc  
Cornell         14      14      9       6       15      14      19
Harvard         2       4       1       22      1       1       6
Johns Hop       nl      nl      2       27      21      22      17
MIT             nl      1       nl      1       1       8
Yale            1       14      3       44      6       6       23
Stanford        3       3       12      4       1       3       8
U of Chic.      4       7       18      nl      1       5       1

Northwestern    11      5       nl      13      8       20      8
Mich State      >50     35      28      40      nl      25      nl
Mich AA         8       11      10      8       10      2       3
U of WI         23      39      nl      12      12      9       1
U of IUC        20      32      nl      3       23      22      21
UC Berk         8       10      nl      2       6       3       3

Mayo            nl      nl      22      nl      nl      nl      nl
Emery           25      23      23      nl      nl      nl      nl

Notes: nl means Not Listed. Either the school does not have a program in 
this area,  or it is ranked below the survey cutoff.

On the Pursuit of Truth;

A few years back, a couple of guys named Pons and Fleischman stunned the world with the announcement that they had perfected cold fusion. The reason they gave for bypassing the more traditional route of publication in refereed journals was that their discovery was just too important to be delayed by even a year. As an ode to this pair, this month's APS News reprinted an article which first appeared in The Annals of Improbable Research (AIR).


  Abstract: The authors attempted to achieve table top fusion at room
  temperature (23 deg C). They suceeded.

  Materials: a) Two pasteboard table tops. b) A mixture composed of
  flour, water and palladium grounds. c) Tritium, in trace amounts. 
  Method: The authors sprayed atomized paste between the two tabletops.
  The tabletops were then brought into close contact. Pressure was then
  applied to the non-contact surfaces. The tritium was stored at a separate
  storage facility and was observed continuously during the experiment.

  Results: Tabletop fusion occured. Trace amounts of tritium were observed
  at the storage facility.

  Discussion: The experiment has been repeated with the same results. Full
  details of the experiment will be published upon completion of routine
  administrative procedures and full patent registration.

  Acknowledgement: We wish to thank the many members of the press without
  whose guidence we would not have been able to achieve these results.

To subscribe to AIR, send the message
subscribe mini-air your_name

Guest Editorial:

from March-April _Audubon_
How the West Won't Be Won
by Ed Merston

Molly Ivans theory about the last election is as good as any I've heard so far. The Texas journalist says the outcome was due to white male anger over no World Series. But in my part of the rural inland West, where we have only one major league team, the election was deemed to be a vote against wolf reintroduction and grazing reform.

At the November meeting of what I affectionately call the "wise use group" - a gathering of good old boy county commisioners, loggers, miners and ranchers - I was asked gleefully, "How did you like the election?"

I belong to this group to keep an eye on the other guys, but also for spiritual reasons. I've learned that the loggers, ranchers and county commissioners that we environmentalists come up against are foes, not enemies implacably hostile to us and the earth. I learn that we are all loyal to where we live and to modest, low key lives. This sense of shared values lets me continue to fight without falling victim to despair.

My group is a product of the political changes of the past few years and held together by a desire to seek solutions. To me, it's one of the many signs that the West's old bullying ways are begining to die.

Until recently, our county comissioners had only to clear their throats and officials at the local national forest office would scurry to prepare timber sales and cut new roads. No longer. Even when the comissioners stomp their feet, the goodies don't flow out of the forests. But neither do solutions. Instead, the wars of Wash. D.C. are fought out here in the surrounding public lands.

When my group asked how I liked the election, I told them that George Bush really had been an environmental president. During his tenure, the making and testing of nuclear bombs stopped, the flows out of the Glen Canyon dam were tamed, the $1 billion Two Forks dam outside Denver was vetoed (along with all other dams), California's central valley project was reformed, and the logging of old growth forest was stopped.

As Bush taught my fellow group members, and as Clinton is teaching me, Wash. D.C. isn't everything. No matter who sits in Wash., the rancher in my group will keep trying to make cattle grazing compatible with wilderness. And the logger will keep reading stories of the pre-Anglo forest, searching for ways that her firm can both cut trees and re-create that lost forest.

But I've learned from 20 years in a small town that it doesn't help to demonize those whose livelihood depends on the West's public lands. "Livestock Free by '93", was translated by most ranchers as "Rancher Free by '93." It was a prime example of what not to do. And it doesn't help to tell rural people that they should pour cappucino or make Nike shoes instead of cutting trees or grazing cows. Campaigns against people alienate westerners and confuse potential allies who hear us say we care about wildlife while we write off comunities.

My part of the country needs to care for its heritage of public lands. To do this it needs help from around the nation. But unless that help is given in a humane context, it will hurt more than help.

Ed: Note how this guy spends the first 3 paragraphs insulting his neighbors, then ends up saying how he only wants to help them. What arrogance.


1. Beaumont Bruce writes;

>From Mon Mar 13 09:17:44 1995

I attached a small file from Time Mag Online (AOL) about new money making
opportunities (read lawsuits). It should be in one of the many flavors
of ASCII format. Let me know if it is readable.

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


Last Call at the Bar

The House of Representatives last week passed a series of legal-
reform bills intended to discourage frivolous lawsuits, of which there
is alleged to be a glut. Below: some civil suits that were being filed
even as the House went about its work.

-- The brother of a man who was stabbed to death in front of a New
York City McDonald's -- the suspect is the restaurant's manager --
has sued the fast-food chain for $116 million.

-- A black man in Omaha, Nebraska, has filed a $40 million suit against
the makers of a Compton's Encyclopedia CD-ROM. The man claims he
and his children suffered emotional distress when, during a search, he
accidentally typed in the word nigger -- instead of Niger -- and the
program called up several references.

-- A woman has filed a complaint against the managers of a
''Treasures of the Czars'' exhibit in St. Petersburg, Florida, demanding
they hand over to her a Faberge egg. The woman claims to be a long-
lost granddaughter of the last Russian Czar. 

Sources: New York Post; AP; St. Petersburg Times
Copyright 1995 Time Inc. All rights reserved.

2. Our man in San Diego, Rich Tripoli, pens

  March 8, 1995

  Not a heck of a lot on the political front. I am watching quite sharply
all the talk on affirmative action. You've probably heard of the California
Civil Rights Initiative. I spoke to the assemblyman who authored the bill. 
He sent me a copy of the bill for review. Fortunetly, this issue has very
strong support and is expected to pass. The time has cone to abolish govt.
mandated discrimination under the guise of names like affirmitive action,
diversity (racial and gender quotas), equal oppurtunity, etc. and come up
with a real and fair solution to this country's racial problems. Everytime
the govt. comes out with some new program with a pretty name it usually
ends up being chocolate covered garbage. Just like George Stephanopulous
refering to taxes as "contributions." How stupid do these people think
we are?

  On the national front I also hear talk on affimative action. I'm glad
this is finally becoming an issue. Regardless of what Clinton says, it
would not have been an issue if not for Nov. 8, 1994.


Ed. Note: If you know how I can get an electronic copy of the bill, I'm sure the readers would like to see just how 'hateful' its language is. Otherwise, you could just mail me a photocopy of the juicy parts. And the govt. has to call taxes voluntary (just take a close look at the language on the 1'st few pages in the 1040 book). If they admitted that taxes are paid under duress, that would constitute 'involuntary servitude' which was made illegal in the 13'th or 14'th Amendment (I forget which) which banned slavery. And we must be pretty stupid, given an incumbant reelection rate of over 80%.

On a personal note, Mark Young is back up here.

3. Rafe Donahue writes from Kansas

>From Mon Mar 20 09:17:39 1995


I  spoke to Par the other day and he mentioned that the new tax law
has something in it that you must withhold for 1995 110% of what
was paid for 1994 when it comes to Federal Income Tax.  If you fail to
do so, you will be subject to some sort of fine, of course.  Any truth
to this as far as you know?  Either they are expecting huge increases in
tax loads or they plan to get larger interest-free loans from us for
most of 1995...

That is all.


Ed Note: From page 33 of the 1040 booklet

"Caution: If your 1993 adjusted gross income was over $150K, item 2 above applies only if your total from lines 54, 55 and 58 of your 1994 return is at least 110% of your 1993 tax liability."

I think this means that if, at the end of the year, you owe over $500, and you did not pay at least 10% more in taxes this year than last, you may be subject to a fine.

4. Someone who wishes to remain anonymous forwarded the next two notes to me. The motivation for this was last year's witch hunt by the Clinton Admin. to find evidence of deadly radiation experiments, comitted by evil scientists, on unknowing citizens during the 50's and 60's.

From: Captain Internal Dosimetry
re:  The Radiation Dose from a "Reference Banana."

Some time ago (when I almost had time to do such things) I calculated the 
dose one receives from the average banana.  Here's how it goes:

On page 620 of the CRD Handbook on Rad Measurement and Protection, the
concentration of K-40 in a "Reference Banana" is listed as 3520 picocuries 
perkilogram of banana.  For those of us who are stuck in certain unit ruts, 
this is equivalent to 3.52E-6 microcuries of K-40 per gram of banana.

An average "Reference" banana weighs (masses) about 150 grams (I think.)  So,
the ICRP Reference Banana contains about 5.28E-4 microcuries of probably
deadly K-40.

Federal Guidance Report #11 lists the ingestion dose (committed effective 
dose equivalent) for K-40 as 5.02E-9 Sv/Bq or (again, for those of us who 
are "unit-challenged," 1.86E-2 rem per microcurie ingested.)

Thus, the CEDE from ingestion of a Reference Banana is 5.28E-4  x 1.86E-2 =
9.82E-6 rem or about 0.01 millirem. 

I have found this "Banana Equivalent Dose" very useful in attempting to
explain  infinitesmal doses (and corresponding infinitesmal risks) to members
of the public.  (Interestingly, the anti-nukes just HATE this, and severely
critisize us for using such a deceptive concept.)

Would love to go into more detail, but have to get back to our DEADLY Human
Radiation Experiments (i.e., eating bananas.)

The same table in the CRC Handbook lists 3400 pCi/kg for white potatoes and
4450 pCi/kg for sweet potatoes - so you could carry through the same sort of
calculation for Reference Potatoes.  Interestingly, raw lima beans come in at
4640 pCi/kg, "dry, sweet" coconut comes in at 6400 pCi/kg, and raw spinach
(yum!) comes in at 6500 pCi/kg.

Considering the fact that the DOE has officially stated that "there is no 
safe dose of radiation" my advice to you all is to stop eating immediately.

Oh yes!  Almost forgot.  Regarding K-40, go into your local grocery store, 
buy some salt-substitute (there are two common brands, and the one in the 
white and orange labeled container works best) spread some out on a table and 
check it out with a GM survey instrument.  There it is folks, deadly 
radioactivity in your grocery store!  

Yours for healthful diets . . .

Captain Internal Dosimetry
aka  Gary Mansfield, LLNL, (

Neither Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the University of California,
nor the Department of Energy recommends eating bananas.

From: on 13 Mar 1995 13:38
Subject: Worse than bananas

    Recent RADSAFE emails suggest a considerable concern about radiation
    exposure from bananas.  While I limit my banana intake to servings of
    banana (brazil?) nut bread, there is a more serious source of K-40
    radiation poisoning.

    According to UNSCEAR (1988) the annual effective dose equivalent from
    the body's K-40 is an estimated 180 uSv (18 mrem).  Now, in the case
    where two people share the same bed for 8 hrs/day, and assuming a
    geometry factor of 0.16 (this is probably subject to considerable
    variation; I don't want to discuss it), then each person would receive
    an additional annual radiation dose of approximately 10 uSv (1 mrem)
    from the other person's K-40.  This does not take into account any
    backscatter from a slab floor (a NORM problem itself!).

    There are at least 60 million married couples in the U.S. that I will
    assume sleep together (you can supplement the number if you wish).
    This results in a U.S population exposure of at least 1200 PYSv
    (120,000 man-rem per year). (PC hawks - I'm using the dictionary's
    first definition of 'man'.)

    Using 8,000 man-rems per lethal cancer (Wilson and Crouch, Science 236,
    1987, pp. 267-270), the sleeping together radiation dose equivalent
    (STRDE) results in an estimated average of 15 deaths in the U.S per
    year.                                      ^^^^^^^^^

    However, I don't think a lead-lined teddy will ever become popular.

Richard G. Strickert, Ph.D.          |     "Absolutum obsoletum -
Radian Corporation, Austin, TX       |  if it works, it's out of date."   |            - Stafford Beer
 ---> "All written IMHO." <---       |

5. Texas Tom writes

>From Wed Mar 22 11:20:27 1995

>  "Given that the minimum wage is unlivable, what should be done about it?"

Three possibilities:

1. Raise the minimum wage
2. Lower the cost of living
3. Soylent Green


Ed: You left out the Chineese solution, enforced birth control.

6. The Devil in the Deep Blue Sea, Mike Grimm writes;

>From Tue Mar 28 00:45:17 1995


Greetings from the Left Coast.  This will be my last shorebound 
contribution to your rag.  After April 11, I will be at sea for 6 months
on the USS Abe Lincoln.  And my Internet/E-mail address changes to:

not the old  

FIRST-CLASS mail, to
        Dr. Jerry Michael Grimm
        COMCARGRU 3
        USS Abraham Lincoln
        FPO AP 96612-2872

This is the only way stuff will get to me on a timely fashion.

I will hopefully be reachable via E-mail on the NETCOM gateway.  If
not, try me at
I'll have someone once a week check that address even if I can't.  To
get in touch with me reasonably quickly, like within a business day or
two, call
        703-824-2658, the CNA field office
Ask for Stacy Neuberger or Janice Hernandez, mention who you are and
why you need to get in touch with me.  They'll work it from there.  


Humorous anecdote it's not, but here it is.....
        Three USS Eisenhower (CVN-71) crew members received non-judicial 
punishment (that is, not a courts-martial) and were removed from the 
ship in connection with a case of sexual misconduct.  Action was taken 
within hours of the command's learning that two sailors - a male E-2 and 
female E-1 - had engaged in CONSENSUAL sexual relations in an isolated 
space abourard the Eisenhowere.  A superior officer (Warrant Officer) in 
their chain-of-command was held accountable for failure to take proper 
action upon learning about this incident.
        The misconduct was discovered and reported when the male sailor 
involved attempted to show a video of the event, taken by him with a 
privately-owned video camera, to friends in his work center.  Another 
enlisted member of the crew saw the video, recognized the inappropriate 
content,  and reported the observation.
        The male E-2 and female E-1 were found guilty of willfully 
disobeying a lawful order from the Commanding Officer, and Adultery.  
They were each awarded 45 day restriction, 45 days extra duty, reduction 
in rate to E-1 (which since she was an E-1, nothing happened) and 
forfeiture of $427 pay per month for two months.  The Warrant OFficer 
was hauled to Captain's Mast, found negligent in his duty, and was 
awarded 30 days restriction and a punitive letter of reprimand.
        There is a zero-tolerance policy for sexual misconduct of any 
sort on the USS Eisenhower.  It is briefed regularly to the entire crew 
of the Eisenhower and each crewmember signs a document confirming their 
full understanding of this policy.  

My comments.....
        First, on the Ike, and any Navy ships, no one may have sexual 
relations, period!  On Lincoln, if a "romance" develops, one of the 
couple must change commands and transfer off ship.  It is the same for 
the Ike.  But I know sex happens all the time on the ships; the Navy is 
fooling if it thinks it can keep that from happening.  
        The guy was stupid in showing the video -dumb, dumb, dumb.  Then 
again, this was an E-2, probably no older than 20, if that.  Let alone 
our lady E-1.  Fooling kids.  The Warrant officer knew better, and was 
punished for not reporting that this went on -- I bet he was reviewing 
that video to decide what to do.....  And that punishment, 30 days 
restriction, for a carrier in the Med, means the warrant officer will 
not get a port call.  And since Warrants are former enlisted, this is a 
big punishment.  And the punitve letter of reprimand effectively ends 
his Navy career.
        Isn't the new, gender-integrated Navy fun?  Much more so than 
when you had to worry about needing "soap-on-a-rope".....;-).
>  And please include your response to last month's survey.
>  "Given that the minimum wage is unlivable, what should be done about 
Good question.  I've no answer for it.  But I do have a comment about 
your Misery index bit 2 months ago.  I see that your numbers about it 
being higher after Clinton took office are dominated by the "highest tax 
bracket rate", since all the other numbers are close.  Given that it 
will be a long while before I hit that 48% rate, why not re-compute the 
index with the tax rate that you or I would pay, like 28%.  While your
point may still be made, it will not be made as strongly.

All my best,
Mike Grimm

Ed: You and I will be paying a 33% rate I think, and since I started the comparison using the top marginal, it would be slanting the results to change my method now.

Quotes(s) of the month:

"This could get serious - fast."

Opening sentence of a front page story from the March 21 Wall Street J. concerning the drop of the dollar.

Fix of the month:

"Welfare reform, what should be done with it?"



1. March 13, NPR: Eroic Poitner owns the land surrounding a slough which comes off the Miss. River. In the 1960's, a judge found that Poitner had exclusive rights to the property. Last year, the state DNR decided that his property would make a good public access point to the Miss. for other hunters and anglers. Apparently, Poitner found that decision unpalatable and is now being indicted for harrasing the interlopers he's found on 'his' property. An undercover DNR officer, posing as a hunter, arrested Poitner when the latter attempted to eject the officer from the land. So an interesting court case is now shaping up to determine whose legal decision takes precedence, the 1960 judge's ruling, or the 1994 DNR edict.

ED Note: The eminent domain arguments do not apply since the DNR did not offer Poitner fair market value for his property.

2. March 15, NPR: Dem. State Representitive Skip Finn has introduced a bill, upon the urging of an 18 year old female high school student, to eliminate the word "squaw" from state geographical features. Gone will be Squaw Lake, Squaw River and Squaw Valley. It appears that the word "squaw" is offensive to women.

Ed: I wonder if Wench Lake would go over better?

3. March 15, St. Paul: The attorney for a man who is on trial for drunk driving is demanding that the charges against his client be dropped on the grounds that a conviction would violate the state Constitutional prohibition against being punished twice for the same offense. It has long been the practice in MN for a DWI suspect to have their license revoked before trial. The attorney argues that this already constitutes punishment. Thus, a guilty judgement (with fines and time served) would be a second punishment for the same offense. The State's prosecutor could not be reached for comment.

4. March 13, Lakeside County: There is a move afoot to abolish townships as a governing body in the state. Proponents say this would streamline govt. administration and services by leaving everything to the counties or cities. Opponents argue this would facillitate cities grabbing even more tax revenue by trying to grab the surrounding countryside thus heating up inter-city rivalry.

5. Rochester, March 15: Flesh eating bacteria are running amok!

>From Communications-Division@mayo.EDU Wed Mar 15 17:28:23 1995
Following is a brief summary of a breaking news item for Mayo Staff:


There has been an outbreak of invasive group A streptococcal infections 
in Southeastern Minnesota.  Since January 1995, eight cases of invasive 
group A streptococcal disease have been identified in residents of 
Southeastern Minnesota.  Six of these cases were caused by the same 
strain.  Four people have died.  The median age of the six cases was 65 
years (range 40 to 83 years); all were male.  Four resided in Wanamingo, 
Minn., and two resided in Rochester, Minn.  Five of the cases had 
underlying medical conditions which predisposed them to invasive 
bacterial disease. 


1. Pontiac, March 22: The search continues for an escaped convict who eluded police when he picked his handcuffs with a stainless steel surgical pin. "Where did he get the pin?", you ask. From his own wrist which had been previously broken and repaired. Apparently, the convict re-broke the wrist so that he could extract said pin.

New York;

1. Brooklyn, March 15: Three soldiers in the armed forces are bringing suit against the U.S. in Federal Court today. The three, who are gay, contend that Clinton's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy violates their rights to free speech.

Ed: And this is from a group that Clinton was trying to help.

New Jersey;

1. March 15, Atlantic City; A group of high school students are under arrest for running a gambling ring. While community leaders are aghast at the 'lawlessness' one clear thinking junior said,

   "What's the big deal? They only did what the state does with Lotto,
    except the state isn't getting its cut."

Washington State;

1. Seattle, March 2: The McNeil/Lehrer NewsHour reported tonight on a new threat to the salmon population in this state. Actually, the threat is not new, but for once it is not about evil White Anglo Saxon Penises (WASPs). It turns out that sea lions have discovered a series of shipping locks that act as a bottle neck for upstream migrating salmon. The sea lions are so effective at hunting that last year it's estimated that fewer than 1000 fish survived to spawn. Federal and state fish and wildlife departments now find themselves faced with the interesting dilemma of violating one endangered specie's protection to save another.


1. March 7, San Diego State Univ. : The _Wall Street Journal_ reported today on the case of a male undergrad who is suing the univ. for discrimination. It seems that in the sociology class that he is taking, the female Prof. is advocating to her women students that they should embrace masturbation to free themselves from their dependance on men. The plaintiff is arguing that male masturbation scholarship should receive equal time.

Net News;

1. From the land down under.

From: Gordon Gilcrhist   
Subject:  very low dose x-rays 
Date: 21 Feb 1995 0:10:26 GMT  

  We have a security problem at our diamond mine. However, body searching
of staff is invasive and degrading. Cameras go only so far and sweat and
pulse machines are ineffective.

  A method being used in S. Africa by De Beers is to X-ray on a random
basis. They have developed and are continuing to develop machines of very
low dose to detect diamonds in the body. Hoever, their technology is

  Where could I contact other people who are currently working in this

Gordon Gilchrist 
Managing Director 
Argyle Diamond Mines 
W. Australia 

ED note: I almost hate to tell Gordon this, but De Beer's X Ray machine is almost certainly a bluff. I have personally X-Rayed hands with diamond rings and the diamonds are invisible. This is because carbon has roughly the same x-section as normal soft tissue in the body and thus cannot be discriminated in a normal radiograph. A CT scanner might image a diamond, but the dose wouldn't be small.

2. For those interested, the voting stats on the Balanced Budget Amend.

Article: 19874 of alt.politics.usa.constitution
From: (Patricia Miller)
Subject: Balanced Budget Senate Vote--Sample Congressional Vote
Date: 3 Mar 1995 22:20:32 GMT


Vote No. 98:  March 2, 1995
Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment: By 65 yeas to 35 nays (Vote 
No. 98), two-thirds of Senators voting, a quorum being present, not 
having voted in the affirmative, Senate failed to pass H.J. Res. 1, 
proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United 
  Subsequently, a motion was entered to reconsider the vote (Vote No. 
98) by which the resolution failed of passage. {The actual vote was 
66 yeas to 34 nays. Senator Dole changed his vote from yea to nay so 
that he could qualify to enter the motion to reconsider the vote. He
has stated that he intends to ask for 'reconsideration' of this vote
later in the 104th Session of Congress}.
Page S3311-14

Abraham               Republican    Michigan                      Y
Ashcroft              Republican    Missouri                      Y
Baucus                Democrat      Montana                       Y
Bennett               Republican    Utah                          Y
Biden                 Democrat      Delaware                      Y
Bond                  Republican    Missouri                      Y
Breaux                Democrat      Louisiana                     Y
Brown                 Republican    Colorado                      Y
Bryan                 Democrat      Nevada                        Y
Burns                 Republican    Montana                       Y
Campbell              Democrat      Colorado                      Y
Chafee                Republican    Rhode Island                  Y
Coats                 Republican    Indiana                       Y
Cochran               Republican    Mississippi                   Y
Cohen                 Republican    Maine                         Y
Coverdell             Republican    Georgia                       Y
Craig                 Republican    Idaho                         Y
D'Amato               Republican    New York                      Y
DeWine                Republican    Ohio                          Y
Domenici              Republican    New Mexico                    Y
Exon                  Democrat      Nebraska                      Y
Faircloth             Republican    North Carolina                Y
Frist                 Republican    Tennessee                     Y
Gorton                Republican    Washington                    Y
Graham                Democrat      Florida                       Y
Gramm                 Republican    Texas                         Y
Grams                 Republican    Minnesota                     Y
Grassley              Republican    Iowa                          Y
Gregg                 Republican    New Hampshire                 Y
Harkin                Democrat      Iowa                          Y
Hatch                 Republican    Utah                          Y
Heflin                Democrat      Alabama                       Y
Helms                 Republican    North Carolina                Y
Hutchison             Republican    Texas                         Y
Inhofe                Republican    Oklahoma                      Y
Jeffords              Republican    Vermont                       Y
Kassebaum             Republican    Kansas                        Y
Kempthorne            Republican    Idaho                         Y
Kohl                  Democrat      Wisconsin                     Y
Kyl                   Republican    Arizona                       Y
Lott                  Republican    Mississippi                   Y
Lugar                 Republican    Indiana                       Y
Mack                  Republican    Florida                       Y
McCain                Republican    Arizona                       Y
McConnell             Republican    Kentucky                      Y
Moseley-Braun         Democrat      Illinois                      Y
Murkowski             Republican    Alaska                        Y
Nickles               Republican    Oklahoma                      Y
Nunn                  Democrat      Georgia                       Y
Packwood              Republican    Oregon                        Y
Pressler              Republican    South Dakota                  Y
Robb                  Democrat      Virginia                      Y
Roth                  Republican    Delaware                      Y
Santorum              Republican    Pennsylvania                  Y
Shelby                Republican    Alabama                       Y
Simon                 Democrat      Illinois                      Y
Simpson               Republican    Wyoming                       Y
Smith                 Republican    New Hampshire                 Y
Snowe                 Republican    Maine                         Y
Specter               Republican    Pennsylvania                  Y
Stevens               Republican    Alaska                        Y
Thomas                Republican    Wyoming                       Y
Thompson              Republican    Tennessee                     Y
Thurmond              Republican    South Carolina                Y
Warner                Republican    Virginia                      Y

Akaka                 Democrat      Hawaii                        N
Bingaman              Democrat      New Mexico                    N
Boxer                 Democrat      California                    N
Bradley               Democrat      New Jersey                    N
Bumpers               Democrat      Arkansas                      N
Byrd                  Democrat      West Virginia                 N
Conrad                Democrat      North Dakota                  N
Daschle               Democrat      South Dakota                  N
Dodd                  Democrat      Connecticut                   N
Dole                  Republican    Kansas                        N
Dorgan                Democrat      North Dakota                  N
Feingold              Democrat      Wisconsin                     N
Feinstein             Democrat      California                    N
Ford                  Democrat      Kentucky                      N
Glenn                 Democrat      Ohio                          N
Hatfield              Republican    Oregon                        N
Hollings              Democrat      South Carolina                N
Inouye                Democrat      Hawaii                        N
Johnston              Democrat      Louisiana                     N
Kennedy               Democrat      Massachusetts                 N
Kerrey                Democrat      Nebraska                      N
Kerry                 Democrat      Massachusetts                 N
Lautenberg            Democrat      New Jersey                    N
Leahy                 Democrat      Vermont                       N
Levin                 Democrat      Michigan                      N
Lieberman             Democrat      Connecticut                   N
Mikulski              Democrat      Maryland                      N
Moynihan              Democrat      New York                      N
Murray                Democrat      Washington                    N
Pell                  Democrat      Rhode Island                  N
Pryor                 Democrat      Arkansas                      N
Reid                  Democrat      Nevada                        N
Rockefeller           Democrat      West Virginia                 N
Sarbanes              Democrat      Maryland                      N
Wellstone             Democrat      Minnesota                     N

Republican Yes votes =  51
Republican No  votes =   2
Republican NV  votes =   0

Democratic Yes votes =  14
Democratic No  votes =  33
Democratic NV  votes =   0

Total Yes votes      =  65
Total No  votes      =  35
Total Ans. Present   =   0
Total Not Voting     =   0

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3. And the High Energy physics community has agreed to call the search for the top quark a done deal.

Article: 2236 of sci.physics.research
Subject: Physics News Update #216 (3 Mar 1995)
Date: 4 Mar 1995 00:08:04 GMT
Organization: University of Maryland
Lines: 84

PHYSICS NEWS UPDATE                
A digest of physics news items by Phillip F. Schewe and Ben Stein
Number 216  March 3, 1995         American Institute of Physics   

THE TOP QUARK AT LAST!  After months and years of speaking
guardedly about tentative, preliminary evidence for the top quark, the
rival CDF and D0 collaborations at Fermilab finally, jointly,
announced yesterday that they had indeed discovered the top quark. 
This particle is the sixth and supposedly last of a class of quarks
which, along with the leptons, form the basic alphabet from which all
matter is constructed.  
  With two to three times more data available than a year ago,
researchers at both groups are now confident that their inventory of
top quark events (rare events in which top quarks are created out of
the annihilation of high energy protons and antiprotons) represents a
true signal and not just a spurious effect due to some background
  The new results were announced at a colloquium held yesterday at
Fermilab and are also circulating in the form of preprints of articles
submitted by both groups to Physical Review Letters. According to
Drew Baden of the University of Maryland (a member of the D0
team) both experiments sampled about 6 trillion collision events, for
which data was collected for about 40 million events.  This vast
mountain of information was sifted through a myriad of computer
programs seeking just the right configurations of daughter particles. 
In the end the CDF turned up 37 top candidate events as against an
expected background of 12 events.  (In this business, one must always
specify both the number of measured events and suspected
background events.) The D0 collaboration found 17 top candidate
events and estimated a background of about 4 events (with an
uncertainty of 0.6 events in the background).  
   Establishing a mass for the top quark and a cross section for
producing tops in proton-antiproton collisions are also important. 
CDF reports a mass of 176 GeV, with an uncertainty of 8 GeV
arising from the statistical size of the data sample and 10 GeV from
possible systematic errors associated with the measurement process. 
They report a cross section of 6.8 pico-barns (a barn is a unit
equalling 10**-24 sq cm).  The uncertainty in this cross section
ranges from +3.6 pb to -2.4 pb.
   D0's somewhat different numbers are 199 GeV (statistical
uncertainty of 20 GeV and systematic uncertainty of 22 GeV) for the
mass and 6.4 pb (with an uncertainty of 2.2) for the cross section.
   The statistical significance of the new top quark measurement is
(expressed in units of likelihood) about 4.7 standard deviations.  Put
another way, the overall possibility of the observed top quark events
being purely due to some background phenomenon is less than one
part in a million for both experiments.  This assurance of a genuine
effect should improve as more events are recorded.  The researchers
expect to have twice the current data by December when a planned
shutdown of the beams will occur. 
   Quarks have hitherto never been seen in isolation; instead they
always are seen in clumps of two (particles called mesons) or three
(baryons).  In order to split up such clumps (collectively called
hadrons) the gluon lines which, according to the theory of quantum
chromodynamics, yoke the quarks together must be severed.  But in
practice doing this only results in the creation of a new quark-
antiquark pair, each of which teams up with the newly unattached
quarks to form more hadrons.  In the case of the top quarks,
however, the top decays so quickly that it never has time to pair up
with another quark.  Therefore, Drew Baden asserts, the D0 and CDF
observations constitute, in effect, the first detection of a free quark.

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