Friday, 18 August 2000
1. NULL HYPOTHESIS: DO ASTRONAUTS SUFFER MAGNETIC DEFICIENCY?
must tell you, I bought a pair of Florsheim MagneForce shoes this
(WN 11 Aug 00).
I have not been sick since. More on my new
shoes in a later issue. Today, I want to share another Gary Null
quote from the free brochure Florsheim gave me (at $125 the shoes
were not free): "90-95% of health problems astronauts experienced
after early space flights were eliminated when magnets were put
in space suits and space capsules to counter the effects of
traveling outside the earth's magnetic field." That's remarkable,
since early flights never got beyond low-Earth orbit where the
field is essentially unchanged. Nevertheless, we felt obliged to
ask NASA. Answer: There has never been a magnet in a space suit.
2. BLACKLIGHT: SUIT AGAINST THE PATENT OFFICE FAILS.
Power's plans to go public with an estimated $1B stock offering
are presumably on hold. You may recall that on 15 Feb BLP was
awarded a patent on a process for putting hydrogen atoms into a
"state below the ground state," shrinking them into teeny little
things called "hydrinos"
(WN 18 Feb 00).
A second patent dealing
with hydrino chemistry was set for issuance two weeks later. But
on 17 Feb the Patent Office withdrew the second patent, and
opened up the first for reexamination. One patent official was
concerned that the BLP technology involves perpetual motion and
"cold fusion." With its intellectual property somewhere in
patent purgatory, BlackLight filed suit in Federal Court against
the Commissioner of Patents. Tuesday, Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled
the Patent Office action was "neither arbitrary nor capricious."
3. INFINITE ENERGY: EEOC RULES THAT COLD FUSION IS A RELIGION.
Paul LaViolette was terminated by the Patent Office on 9 Apr 99.
He had been recruited by patent examiner Tom Valone, who issued
an e-mail appeal for "all able-bodied free energy technologists"
to "infiltrate" the Patent Office (Science, V.284, p.1254, May
99). It was Valone, you will recall, that organized the much-
traveled Conference on Future Energy
(WN 30 Apr 99).
was fired because of his belief in cold fusion, LaViolette turned
to the Equal Employment Opportunities Office. He argued that his
belief in cold fusion amounted to a religious belief. Actually,
LaViolette believes in lots of stuff, like the B-2 bomber relies
on antigravity technology
(WN 20 Nov 98).
Anyway, on 7 July the
EEOC ruled that cold fusion is indeed protected religious belief.
This appears to confirm what many have been saying all along.
4. SPY HYSTERIA: FBI AGENT BACKS DOWN IN WEN HO LEE BAIL HEARING.
This is the third bail hearing for the Los Alamos scientist, who
has been jailed under harsh conditions since December. An FBI
agent, who claimed under oath in December that Lee used deception
to gain access to the downloaded files, now acknowledges that his
testimony was in error. The hearing is still going on.
(Maria Cranor contributed to this week's WN.)