Friday, 28 January 2000
1. THE STATE OF SCIENCE: A SUCCESS STORY FOR A JOINT EFFORT.
"To accelerate the march of discovery across all disciplines of
science and technology, my budget includes an unprecedented $3
billion increase in the 21st Century Research Fund, the largest
increase in civilian research in a decade." It came toward the
end of the longest State-of-the-Union speech in history, and went
unremarked upon by the media, but the President's call reflected
three years of intense lobbying by scientists. Three years ago,
President Clinton's budget request marked five straight years of
decline in science investment. On 4 Mar 97, representatives of
23 scientific, mathematical and engineering societies met with
reporters to call for an across-the-board increase in research
(WN 7 Mar 97).
They stressed the interconnectedness of modern
science. APS President D. Allan Bromley predicted that economic
growth would pay for the increase. That message has gotten
through to the White House. Now we must convince Congress.
2. THE STATE OF THE WORLD: MAKING EARTH A SAFER PLANET.
In his initiative-laden speech, President Clinton stressed the need to
continue reducing nuclear arsenals and help Russia safeguard its
remaining weapons and materials. He called for development of a
missile defense, while preserving the ABM treaty, and pleaded for
a constructive dialogue on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. He
"put to rest" the notion that you can't expand the economy while
protecting the environment and declared global warming to be the
greatest environmental challenge of the new century.
3. SPY HYSTERIA: DOE PREPARING TO ANNOUNCE COLOR-CODED BADGES.
A DOE spokesperson said the new policy is "not ready to be
released to the public." According to our information, the new
badge rules will go into effect at all DOE labs, not just the
weapons labs, and are to be worn by all employees. The color
will not signify level of security clearance, but whether the
person is a citizen. Their country of origin will be displayed
prominently on the grounds that people should know who they're
dealing with. Perhaps employees could also wear religious icons.
4. TRAINING PSYCHICS: IT'S HARD TO SEE WHERE THIS IS HEADED.
According to the New York Times this morning, New York City's
Human Resources Administration has been recruiting and training
welfare recipients to work as telephone psychics. The minimum
starting salary is $10 per hour plus bonuses, and you can work at
home. Had the HRA looked further ahead, however, it would have
seen that there's not much of a future for telephone psychics.
They are suffering rapid technological displacement by Internet
psychics. Unfortunately, they never seem to see it coming.
5. MARS: EARTHLINGS REPORT A MYSTERIOUS MARTIAN SIGNAL.
Could this be the vanished Mars Polar Lander trying to call home?