Friday, 17 March 2000
1. POLYGRAPH: YOU CAN SUE IF THEY MAKE YOU DO THE VOODOO.
use of polygraphs in pre-employment screening by the Secret
Service, FBI and Drug Enforcement Agency, is being challenged by
a group of rejected applicants. Their attorney described the
polygraph as "voodoo science." By coincidence, the truth about
polygraph testing will be the subject of one of the talks in a
session titled "Voodoo Science" at the March Meeting of the APS
in Minneapolis next week (Session G8.FPS). In 1988, Congress
passed legislation prohibiting the use of polygraph testing in
pre-employment screening by private industry, but the federal
government was specifically exempted from the ban, as though
federal employees, including scientists, deserve less protection.
2. NASA: WHEN CHEAPER AND FASTER DOES NOT TURN OUT BETTER.
National Research Council yesterday issued a report attributing
recent failures to overemphasis on cost and schedule. The report
acknowledges, however, that emphasis on "faster-better-cheaper"
missions has "spawned more efficient management techniques and
ways to infuse state-of-the-art technology into NASA projects."
NASA Administrator Dan Goldin made it clear to the House VA, HUD,
IA Appropriations Subcommittee that while its execution may have
been faulty, "the concept of FBC is absolutely sound."
3. MAGNET THERAPY: IT DIDN'T SEEM TO HELP MARINO'S SPIRAL EITHER.
Only 20 patients were involved, but the first randomized double-
blind study of magnets to treat long-term low back pain found no
significant difference between using real and sham magnets. The
study was published in the March 8 issue of JAMA. Meanwhile, Dan
Marino, who's been using and promoting magnet therapy for two
(WN 22 Aug 97),
retired from football.
4. PATENT NONSENSE: IT'S DIFFICULT TO POKE HOLES IN IT.
very day patent 6,024,935 was issued for the "hydrino" process
(WN 18 Feb 00),
patent 6,025,810 was issued to David Strom for a
"hyper-light-speed antenna." The concept is deceptively simple:
"The present invention takes a transmission of energy, and
instead of sending it through normal time and space, it pokes a
small hole into another dimension, thus sending the energy
through a place which allows transmission of energy to exceed the
speed of light." It's also good for your begonias. According to
the patent, this portal "allows energy from another dimension to
accelerate plant growth." Hey, none of this is new. Every week
WN gets e-mail from people who are from other dimensions.
5. EMF: SOLUTION FOUND FOR UNEMPLOYMENT AMONG EMF RESEARCHERS.
Now that power lines have quit causing cancer, some of the very
same researchers have found a high suicide rate among electrical
workers. They attribute it to reduction of melatonin caused by
EMF, leading to depression. It certainly depresses me.