Friday, November 5, 2004
1. THE VOTE IS IN: IT'S NOW TIME TO UNITE BEHIND THE WINNER.
The winner of the Excalibur Prize, was the Black Hole Weapon or BHW, nominated by George Wallerstein. Too dangerous to use on Earth, it's designed for use against any alien planet suspected of harboring weapons of mass destruction. If we're wrong, who's to complain? George will now receive WN without charge for an entire year.
The Excalibur Prize (WN 15 Oct 04) was inspired by bold "outside-the-box" pioneers at the Pentagon, NASA and CIA, who gave us the Excalibur X-ray laser, the Podkletnov gravity shield, and remote-viewing. Other brilliant ideas in past years included the neutrino bomb, which had an acoustic device to let victims know they'd been zapped by trillions of neutrinos.
Our panel of experts faced an ethical crisis when former WN intern Paul Gresser, who is not exactly svelte, nominated the Atkins bomb. When detonated, the A-bomb coats the target area with bacon grease, reducing everyone to skin-and-bones with high blood pressure. The countermeasure is carbs, applied with a device called a carburetor. Would picking Paul's idea be viewed as conflict-of-interest? One panelist, General Persiflage, scoffed: "At the Pentagon we always award contracts to friends; you gonna do favors for your enemies?" Another idea was nano voodoo dolls; trillions of them on a single chip. Jim Dukarm explained, "It amplifies Murphy's law based on quantum theory or something. In tests it dropped a tree on a troublemaker with at least partial effectiveness."
2. IRAN: THE NUCLEAR CHALLENGE THAT THE CAMPAIGN MOSTLY IGNORED.
The world is too divided to agree on sanctions, the U.S. is too bogged down in Iraq to threaten punitive action, and Iran sees an opportunity to wring concessions from a divided world. Diplomats from Iran and the European Union are meeting in Paris today, but there seems to be little prospect of agreement. Iran, floating on an ocean of oil, insists it will never abandon its sovereign right to produce peaceful nuclear power. Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said today that, "Our nuclear weapon is our devoted youth and our believing nation." The election showed we're also a "believing nation." It's our young fundamentalist believers against their young fundamentalist believers.
3. DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS: FDA VOWS TO CRACK DOWN ON MISLABELING.
Don't count on it. Passage of the 1994 Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act largely freed the industry from government oversight. A couple of celebrity deaths has turned up the heat on the FDA (WN 09 Apr 04) , but this is a powerful industry, and it will change when the law changes.