Friday, 13 October 2000
UPDATE ON ROBERT PARK'S CONDITION.
Watch for that acerbic wit to return to WN next week. The countdown has begun.
1. NEWT WEIGHS IN ON DOUBLING BILL.
Last week former House
Speaker Newt Gingrich wrote to House Science Committee Chairman
James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), asking him to rethink his opposition
to the Frist-Rockefeller Federal Research Investment Act that has
passed the Senate unanimously three times
(WN 29 Sep 00).
"I urge you not to let the specifics of the bill cloud the
importance of sending a clear message that a general overall
doubling of R&D is one of the highest priorities of the
Republican Congress," Gingrich wrote. "The consequences of not
passing the bill at this point will send a confused message and
could be detrimental in rallying support for R&D funding."
2. CONGRESSIONAL CRUTCH.
Ever wonder why Congress gives the
National Institutes of Health such great bipartisan support?
Consider the wounded state of the Senate: AKAKA (D-HI) hip
replaced in August, FEINSTEIN (D-CA) injured leg surgically
repaired last week, HELMS (R-NC) knee replaced and still using a
walker, LAUTENBERG (D-NJ) sporting a cast on a fractured wrist,
McCAIN (R-AZ) melanoma removed from face in August, SCHUMER (D-
NY) still suffering from August foot injury, STEVENS (R-AK)
hobbled by toe surgery, THURMOND (R-SC) hospitalized two weekends
ago for dehydration and fainting, WELLSTONE (D-WI) suffering from
chronic back problems. WN can think of a few more who need help.
Some readers took WN
(WN 15 Sep 00)
to task for
claiming that Bob Park's tree accident was "the world's most
unlikely." They were right. Celia, the bucardo, wins, hands
down. The species became extinct when a tree fell on the last
living member. Now that's a true rarity. But science may
triumph, after all. Celia's tissue has been frozen, and plans
are being made to clone the bucardo in the egg of the common
ibex. No comment, yet, from right-to-life advocates.
4. SWEDISH ACADEMY RECOGNIZES IT.
Not as sexy as Clara Bow or
Betty Grable, the "It Girls" from the silver screen past, but in
the money nonetheless, Zhores Alferov of Russia and Herbert
Kroemer and Jack Kilby of the United States share this year's
Nobel Prize in Physics for developing layered semiconductor
structures (heterostructures) and integrated circuits. Their
work led to the development of microelectronics and light-
emitting diodes, key to the information technology revolution.
This week's WN was written by Michael Lubell.