Friday, 30 June 2000
1. SO LONG SNS? BASIC ENERGY SCIENCES IS ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK.
The House version of the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill
slashes $224M from the President's request for BES. The
Spallation Neutron Source, which the APS describes as an "urgent
among the casualties. The House plays this reckless game each
year, betting that threats of a Presidential veto will prompt the
Senate to restore the funds. But with DOE under heavy fire, the
White House has made it clear that the President is not thinking
veto. For the Senate to restore the funds, there must be prompt
phone calls to Senate Energy & Water Appropriators to save DOE
basic science initiatives. E-mail
for more details.
2. NATIONAL MISSILE DEFENSE: INCOMING! INCOMING!
Services Committee chairman John Warner (R-VA) announced at a
hearing on the beleaguered NMD yesterday that he will hold yet
another hearing in the immediate future. The goal, according to
Warner, is to increase public awareness of missile threats by
states-formerly-known-as-rogues. Cynics see the flurry of NMD
hearings as an effort to shoot down embarrassing revelations of
rigged tests and covered-up failures
(WN 23 Jun 00).
3. LOS ALAMOS: CONGRESS BELIEVES IN THE POLYGRAPH.
security problem is, Congress seems convinced that the polygraph
will cure it. Tuesday night, the House Armed Services Committee
approved the Nuclear Secrets Safety Act, which would require
polygraph exams "for individuals who have access to any vault
containing Restricted Data." A number of senior scientists at
Los Alamos insist they will take early retirement rather than
submit to a procedure they regard as pseudoscientific garbage.
Meanwhile, the Lab is having trouble trying to recruit new staff.
4. NUTRI PAIN: LIGHTEN UP, KELLOGG'S.
Don Mueller, President of
Good Guy & Co., and a Ph.D. physicist, is toe to toe with the
corn-flakes giant. A New Jersey science tutor, Mueller wants to
market products that foster science literacy, including cookies
stamped with physics formulas. He says the cookies "would make
science more palatable." He calls them "Nutri Brain" cookies.
Kellogg's insists that infringes on their Nutri-Grain trademark.
5. CAMPAIGN 2000: JOHN HAGELIN TAKES ON PAT BUCHANAN?
power brokers inside the Beltway battle over budgets and missile
defenses, the Reform Party is about to begin a month-long primary
process. Ross Perot and Jesse Ventura have fallen. Pat Buchanan
now faces new-age physicist John Hagelin, vying for a $12.6M
taxpayer-financed campaign fund. Can Buchanan's Brigade meet the
challenge of Hagelin's corps of yogic flyers
(WN 9 Apr 99)?
(Maria Cranor contributed to this week's WN.)